68th session of the UN General Assembly focuses on youth social development

15. 10. 2013

The third committee of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) began its work on social development on the 7th October in light of persisting inequality undermining its progress. Commonly known as the third committee, the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee focused its discussion on examining human rights questions, some of which include women’s advancement, children’s protection and indigenous issues. Other questions it addressed deal partly with family, ageing and disability.

Youth delegates were included in the official national delegations. They made several statements emphasising critical youth issues requiring attention on a global scale. Among those they brought to the forefront were youth unemployment, lack of access to quality education and non-formal learning opportunities. Young people, especially, are a vulnerable social group remaining far behind others in terms of development.

During the meeting, the youth delegates underlined more social issues at stake, including youth participation, gender equality, social inclusion and young people with disabilities, some of the most pressing youth concerns the committee aims to tackle. They also highlighted the role of young people in peace-building and reconciliation processes.

The committee has marked the 27th November as its target conclusion date but will endeavour to complete its work earlier. As part of the agenda, it considered several draft resolutions, including “Policies and Programmes Involving Youth.” On the 8th, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson met with the youth delegates to discuss their perspectives on global youth issues.

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