19 April 2016 – The UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, welcomed in a statement the new Youth Agenda of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), which aims at putting young people at the heart of its operations. Launched on 11 April, 2016, the Youth Agenda outlines a new commitment from DFID to placing young people at the centre of its work with special focus on the role of youth in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Commenting on DFID’s announcement, the UN Youth Envoy said that, “I welcome DFID’s Youth Agenda and its new commitment to addressing youth issues across its work as well as the announced commitment to approaching youth development with a holistic approach”.

Justine Greening, the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, wrote on the launch of DFID’s Youth Agenda, “I believe in the power of young people to be a force for good in the world.”She went on to say that, “… in communities across the UK and around the world – young people are stepping up to really make a difference.”

Click here to read “DFID’s Youth Agenda: putting young people at the heart of development

In the new Youth Agenda, DFID has identified the transition to early adolescence and from adolescence to adulthood as two transitions that are critical in determining whether girls and boys are put on a positive trajectory for the future, or whether poverty, negative social norms and lack of access to rights are reinforced.

The agenda also identified three areas for working with young people to build their agency. The areas include the integration of young people into DFID programmes, enabling young people to deliver development programmes on the ground, and supporting young people to fulfil their potential to shift social norms and change behaviour both of young people and the wider population

“We know that in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, young people must be front and center, both as actors, and advocates, for a more sustainable and peaceful world,” Alhendawi stated. “The youth sector looks forward to working with DFID and I encourage other development agencies to prioritize financing for youth development in line with commitments made at the 3rd Conference on Financing for Development and the 2030 for Sustainable Development”.