UN chief vows to empower young people

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-25 03:03:14|Editor: yan
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UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday vowed to make the world organization more relevant to young people and help with their empowerment.

At the launch of the United Nations' youth strategy -- Youth2030, Guterres said he wanted the world body to become a leader in working with young people and empowering them.

Empowering young people and making sure they can fulfill their potential are important ends in themselves, he said. "But more than this: if we are to create a more peaceful, sustainable and prosperous world for all, to fulfill the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we need young people to lead."

The world today is very young, home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 -- the largest young generation in history, he said.

Today's young people face enormous challenges, due to globalization, new technologies, displacement, shrinking civic space, changing labor markets and the impact of climate change, he noted.

More than a fifth of young people are not in employment, education or training. At least one in four is affected by violence or armed conflict in some way. Millions of girls become mothers while they are still children, affecting their health and entrenching a cycle of poverty, he said.

And too often, young people are excluded by development programs, ignored in peace negotiations, denied a voice and a seat at the table, added the UN chief.

At the same time, young people are a vast source of innovation, ideas and solutions, he said.

The UN youth strategy will open new routes to engage and involve young people and amplify their voices, said Guterres.

He also vowed to help with their access to education and health services, and their economic empowerment through training and jobs.

"We will work harder to ensure young people's rights are upheld and to promote their civic and political engagement," he added.

The United Nations will also prioritize support for young people in conflict and in humanitarian crises, including their participation in peace processes, he said.