On the sidelines of the Commission on Social Development meeting in New York this week, the U.S. Mission to the UN and the International Labour Organization (ILO) convened a special forum bringing together key stakeholders to explore the challenges in implementing successful strategies.

Salient facts that came out of the forum were that young people represent the promise of changing societies for the better, yet there are not enough jobs for young people. Millions are also not transitioning into decent work and are at the risk of social exclusion and lack access to opportunities that can empower them to be active agents of change for their future and communities.

Ambassador Elizabeth M. Cousens opened the meeting by highlighting the challenges faced by youth globally to achieve decent work, and encouraged the participants to come up with solutions that involved partnerships between government, private sector, youth and other key actors.

Speaking at the event on the experience of the UN-Habitat’s Youth Fund was Joao Scarpelini, former member of the UN-Habitat Youth Advisory Board and expert on youth empowerment, and a youth activist. He stressed the need to work with youth rather than for them in finding youth led solution on youth employment and youth entrepreneurship.  He mentioned the need for innovative programmes that promote youth development and youth enterprise such as the Urban youth Fund.