UN calls on world leaders to invest in young people

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UN calls on world leaders to invest in young people

The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres’ has called on world leaders and adults to invest more in young people by way of inclusion, participation, organizations, and initiatives.

In his message on International Youth Day observe today, August 12, 2020, Guterres’ said to realise the promise of this generation, world leaders everywhere should do everything possible to enable the world’s youth to enjoy lives of safety, dignity, and opportunity and contribute to the fullest of their great potential.

UN calls on world leaders to invest in young people

Further, Guterres’ said the theme of this year’s International Youth Day, “Youth Engagement for Global Action”, spotlights the ways in which the voices and activism of young people are making a difference and moving the world closer to the values and vision of the United Nations Charter.

He noted that despite the lives and aspirations of young people continue to be upended by the COVID-19 pandemic where some have lost their lives, and many have seen family members and other loved ones perish, the vulnerabilities of young refugees, displaced persons, young women, and girls; others caught up in conflict or disaster have grown more acute and a generation’s very formation has been jeopardized; their steps towards adulthood, identity and self-sufficiency thrown off course;  some taken on care burdens or are suffering from increased risks of hunger, violence in the home or the prospect of never being able to resume their education; he said this generation is also resilient, resourceful and engaged.

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“They are peacebuilders promoting social cohesion at a time of social distancing, advancing an end to violence globally, and advocating harmony at a time of rising hatred.  Many are young women who have been on the front lines in mobilizing for justice and climate action — while also serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 response”.

Data from the United Nations stated that as of today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population. By 2030, the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that make up the 2030 Agenda, the number of youth is projected to have grown by 7 per cent, to nearly 1.3 billion.

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