Today the global campaign Not Too Young To Run was launched at the first United Nations Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law taking place at United Nations Geneva.
The campaign, launched by a partnership consisting of the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the European Youth Forum (EYF) and the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), aims to elevate the promotion of young people’s right to run for public office and address the wide-spread issue of age discrimination.
“Young people have every right to be active participants in civic and public life and it is time to ensure they no longer face arbitrary barriers to run for public office – whether at the local, regional or national level,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi. “Through the Not Too Young To Run campaign, my office will work with partners around the world to raise awareness about the issue of age discrimination and promote and expand the rights of young people to run for public office.”
In a rapidly changing world where more than 50 percent of the population is under 30, but less than 2 percent of elected legislators are, the campaign highlights that the active participation of young people in electoral politics is essential to thriving and representative democracies worldwide. The campaign emphasizes young people’s rights to engage fully in the democratic process, including the right of young people to run for office themselves.