I welcome this first-ever commemoration of World Youth Skills Day. On July 15th each year, the international community will underscore the value of helping young people to upgrade their own abilities to contribute to our common future.
While overall more young people have greater educational opportunities than in the past, there are still some 75 million adolescents who are out of school, denied the quality education they deserve and unable to acquire the skills they need.
We may see an understandably frustrated youth population – but that picture is incomplete. With the right skills, these young people are exactly the force we need to drive progress across the global agenda and build more inclusive and vibrant societies.
Skills development reduces poverty and better equips young people to find decent jobs. It triggers a process of empowerment and self-esteem that benefits everyone. And it strengthens youth capacity to help address the many challenges facing society, moving us closer to ending poverty hunger, injustice and environmental degradation.
On this Day, I call for investing politically and financially in developing the skills of young people so that they can help build a more just and sustainable future for all.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
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