The 69th President of the General Assembly, H.E. Sam Kutesa announced his plan to host a High-level Event of the General Assembly to mark the 20th Anniversary of the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY) on 29 May 2015.

The High-level event, which will be organised in coordination with the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, aims to reiterate Member States’ commitments to the implementation of the WPAY and explore synergies between the WPAY and the future sustainable development agenda.

The High-level Event of the General Assembly will offer a platform for Member States to discuss with other key stakeholders, including youth-led organisations, the status of implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth since its adoption by the General Assembly in 1995, and to renew commitment for its full, effective and accelerated implementation.

 “I look forward to hosting this important High-level Event which will provide a welcome opportunity for Member States to review their commitment to youth development”, stated H.E. Sam Kutesa, 69th President of the General Assembly (PGA). “The event will also serve as an important platform to discuss and highlight the importance of ensuring that youth issues will be duly addressed in the post-2015 Development Agenda”, added the PGA.

Adopted in 1995, the Member States of the United Nations directed the international community’s response to youth issues by adopting the “World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond (WPAY)”. Complemented officially in 2007, the WPAY not only provides a policy framework and practical guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of youth around the world, it also constitutes the global blueprint for effective national youth policies. Its implementation requires the full enjoyment by young people of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and also requires that governments take effective action against violations of these rights and freedoms.

“Despite the progress made since the adoption of the World Programme of Action for Youth, which has been instrumental in guiding the formulation and implementation of national policies that are relevant to youth development, considerable challenges remain to be addressed in order for the world’s 1.2 billion youth to achieve their full potential”, stated the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi.

Today, more than 500 million young people aged 15 to 24 live on less than $2 a day. An estimated 69 million adolescents remain out of school. In the least developed countries, one quarter of young men and one third of young women aged 15 to 24 are illiterate. Youth continue to face challenges with professional development and entering into the work force. An estimated 74 million young people are currently unemployed, and more than 600 million jobs need to be generated globally by the year 2030.

The High-level Event will be the pinnacle of a multi-stakeholder public awareness campaign, #YouthNow, launched by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in February 2015. It is administered by The Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.


For additional information:

Hazami Barmada, Office of the Secretary-Generals’ Envoy on Youth, United Nations , +1 (917) 367-3581