By February 11, 2016 Read More →

2016 Global Youth Forum of UN ECOSOC

Youth Taking Action to Implement the 2030 Agenda

February 1 – February 2, 2016

UN Headquarters, New York

It was an amazing gathering with member states and youth leaders worldwide making up an audience of over 600 participants!

ECOSOC Youth Forum 2016

Setting the Context

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes specific goals and targets related to youth.  In addition, the success of this Agenda will depend on how all sectors of societies engage in its implementation, beyond what is of direct concern to them, and contribute to follow-up and accountability mechanisms established at this forum.

The forum aimed at the role of young people in implementing the 2030 Agenda, on the main obstacles for their inclusive and meaningful participation, and on what should be done, including in terms of governance mechanisms, to overcome them.

To learn more about the forum and Youth and the United Nations, visit

Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Youth was present throughout the forum and moderated the first morning session.

ECOSOC Youth Forum 2016 1

A number of themes were created for deeper discussions during the breakout sessions:

  • Education
  • Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship
  • Climate Change
  • Poverty, Inequalities, and Youth Empowerment in urban areas
  • Health
  • Peaceful and Inclusive Societies
  • Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls

The plenary session was chaired by H.E. Mr. Lauber Jurg, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations and Vice-President of ECOSOC.

The second day breakout sessions were regional:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Europe, North America and other States
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Asia and the Pacific
  • Arab region

For details regarding speakers: visit

One key area discussed was youth employment where Guy Ryder of International Labor Organization announced the first UN Global Initiative for Decent Jobs for Youth

For more information, visit

Other areas of concern discussed were gender equality and empowerment, importance of listening to the voices of youth, inclusiveness and intergenerational, wide use of social media to educate and promote the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

In conclusion: a few statements from various speakers

“What are the keys to youth development? Look at the journey – 15 years ago, now, and the next 15 years?”

“How can we turn knowledge and information into solutions for all?”

“There is a need for transformation for all society, not just youth.”

“Youth are not the problem, rather the solution.”

“Youth are the stakeholders and governments are accountable to them.”

“Youth want change. Let us change. Well done is better than well said!!”

“It is a wake-up call to create safe and secure environment for youth.”

“Trust every youth – in 15 years they will play the role of world leaders.”

“How do we want the world to look in the future? The future is now. We do now, and the future will be a better world.”

As the Special Envoy for Youth stated: “youth are not the future, they are here, now, with us. We don’t work for Youth, we work with Youth. Young people don’t need support, they need investment. Youth are not a liability but an opportunity.”

I really enjoyed watching and listening to the voices of the youth as they shared their commitment to contributing to creating a better world. New energy is needed to bring about the change and youth are the ones with that creative energy in abundance. Working with them at all levels is where the future lies. Let us support and trust them.

Posted in: Youth

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