United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (R) addresses the closing session of the UN Economic and Social Council Youth Forum at the UN headquarters in New York April 9, 2019. Antonio Guterres on Tuesday highlighted the importance of investing in quality education and decent work for all young people. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
UNITED NATIONS, April 9 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday highlighted the importance of investing in quality education and decent work for all young people.
Speaking at the closing session of the eighth Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum, the UN chief warned that young people now face high unemployment rates and a prevalent sense of disenfranchisement.
According to the secretary-general, 64 million young people are unemployed, some 145 million young workers live in poverty, and some 617 million youth worldwide lack basic mathematics and literacy skills.
Young women, in particular, are too often discriminated against, from health to education, from access to the labor force and access to financing, he added. "In some regions, for example, female youth unemployment is almost double that of men."
In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, governments, civil societies and international partners must scale up their investment in young people to ensure they are educated, empowered and employed, said Guterres.
"And we must respond quickly to the challenges that the fourth industrial revolution is presenting -- the loss of jobs for many, the demand for new and relevant skills and the potential weakening of the social contract," the UN chief added.
The annual ECOSOC Youth Forum was organized for the first time in 2012, and has evolved into a key platform where young people can contribute to policy discussions at the UN. This year's theme was "Empowered, Included and Equal."