Youth Statement : International Advocacy for Prioritizing Youth Development
1. From July 21 to 23, 2022, the inaugural World Youth Development Forum was held in Beijing, China. The Forum was hosted by the All-China Youth Federation and strongly supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United NationsEducational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), theUnited Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UnitedNations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United NationsConvention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the UnitedNations in China, and the World Economic Forum(WEF). Youth delegates from over 100 countries attended the forum online or offline. The youth participants in attendance highly valued and appreciated Chinese President Xi Jinping, Nigerian President Mohamed Bazoum, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World EconomicForum Klaus Schwab for sending the congratulatory letter and video messages to the Forum.
2. Expressing opinions and exchanging ideas, the participants called for actions in various fields including inclusive and equitable quality education, employment and entrepreneurship, digital economy, and climate action and green development on the theme of “For a Shared Future: Promoting Sustainable Development With Youth and for Youth”.
3. We acknowledge that development is an everlasting theme of 2human society, remaining the most effective solution to various global challenges and a crucial key to a sustainable future. The prevailing challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic, global development deficits, climate change, regional conflicts and inflation and so on, serve as a wake-up call for human community, and in particular the youth. In this context, we stress the significant role of youth in achieving peace and security. Only through peaceful co-existence, mutual respect and win-win cooperation can we overcome existing difficulties and create a diverse, inclusive and sustainable future for all. All governments should promote genuine multilateralism, focus on peace and development, work together to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and jointly create a brighter future with sustainable peace and shared prosperity.
4. We acknowledge that youth are both beneficiaries and contributors in the global development process. The world today is home to a larger young generation than ever before. Young people have unlimited potential to generate positive social innovations and promote human progress. We cannot achieve the United Nations2030 Agenda and SDGs without youth participation. All countries, regardless of development phases, should protect and promote the development rights and interests of youth, and urge governments to empower youth at every social and economic strata of society, so as to cultivate a sustainable force for global development. We all sourge countries to put in place mechanisms that can assess the impact of youth-led initiatives which address the SDGs.
5. We acknowledge that Youth 2030: The UN Youth Strategy and the 3UN Secretary-General’s report on Our Common Agenda play a prominent role in promoting global youth development. We reiterate our appeal to ensure youth participation and contribution during the process of implementation, review and evaluation of theUnited Nations 2030 Agenda and other relevant global agendas. We commit to promoting a world where development is a fundamental human right of every young person, where every young person can be empowered to achieve their full potential and where the power and resilience of young people can be the driver of change in the world.
6. We urge that all stakeholders should prioritize youth development and incorporate youth work into national and international development strategies. We also urge countries to provide technical and financial support to youth groups and organizations, so as to guarantee the youth’s right to development through effective youth-oriented policies and implementation mechanisms. At the same time, we encourage all youth to enhance their capacity in all possible fields of development, in order to take a leading role.
7. We advocate putting the youth development agenda in the prime place on the development agenda by creating platforms for young people to be involved in the formulation and implementation of the development agenda at local, national, regional, and international levels. It is crucial to provide youth with an enabling environment and accessible resources in skills training, career development, innovation and entrepreneurship, volunteering and decent work in order to build capacities and unleash potential for achieving their development.
8. We advocate that all parties actively listen to young people, respond to their demands, and actively engage youth in the decision-making process in a comprehensive and diverse way. All parties shall ensure that the most vulnerable and marginalized young people have equal opportunities through carrying out constructive dialogues, diversifying cooperation channels and leveraging partnerships with youth organizations and youth groups. We welcome and urge national and city leaders to build youth-development-oriented cities and communities and to actively empower youth through developing youth-friendly policies, youth-friendly societies and youth-friendly markets, facilitating young people to become the driving force in achieving sustainable development.
9. We advocate for youth to take actions and to foster the spirit of solidarity and the creativity of youth that can drive world development as well as youth development. In particular, we encourage youth-led proposals and solutions in the fields of inclusive and equitable quality education, employment and entrepreneurship, digital economy, and climate action and green development. We welcome China playing a global role model in empowering youth and promoting its Global Development Initiative, in which we are willing to participate.
10.We highly appreciate the ground-breaking significance of theWorld Youth Development Forum. We support the Forum to serve as a multilateral cross-sector platform to continually discuss youth agendas, promote youth development, and achieve global development. We will jointly advocate for the Action Plan for 5Global Youth Development as a follow-up outcome of the Forum. We suggest holding the Forum annually in person and establishing a sustainable network of youth organizations and individuals to bring youth together as a major force for the implementation of theUnited Nations 2030 Agenda.