‘Youth’ was a clear theme echoed by UN Senior officials at the High-level stocktaking event on the Post-2015 Development Agenda that took place 11 September 2014.
Remarks by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, President of the General Assembly, Ambassador John W. Ashe, and President of the Economic and Social Council, Ambassador Martin Sajdik all emphasised the unequivocal role of youth in achieving peace, stability and sustainability.
In his remarks, the UN Secretary-General referenced the ongoing UN system consultations working towards the inclusion of youth and societies globally in the post-2015 development agenda. He referenced the My World and the Global Youth Call that sought the voices and views of millions of people around the world on a new development agenda.
Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth mentioned that the My World 2015 survey garnered over 4.5 million votes globally—over 3.4 million of them from young people under the age of 30. Youth are engaging in the United Nations system and political process in historic numbers as volunteers, activists and vested stakeholders.
Ambassador Sjadik advocated to “make youth a critical part of the development agenda.”
“Don’t alienate youth from the process,” he urged.
Mr. Alhendawi echoed these sentiments, drawing attention to stories from global travels that showcased that at national, regional and global levels, both on and off-line, young people have actively participated in the numerous debates and consultations on the Post-2015 Agenda, in some cases traveling for over 12 hours in public transportation to ensure that their voices are heard. His statement reinforced the notion that young voices are needed in the new development agenda to ensure that youth needs and rights are not marginalized.
Over 1700 youth organizations and networks from around the globe came together with key stakeholders, including UN agencies and major international youth alliances, to form the Global Partnership on Youth in the Post-2015 development agenda. Thousands of young people exercised their global citizenship by joining the challenge of moving beyond the identification of youth priorities toward the developing of an actual consensus of what concrete youth-related targets the Post-2015 should include. Young people, through a crowdsourcing platform, created an unprecedented Global Youth Call for Prioritizing Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda presented at the ECOSOC Youth Forum.