Press Release

The appointment of a new Secretary-General for the United Nations

13. 10. 2016

Today (Thursday, 13th October), the United Nations General Assembly has appointed Antonio Guterres as the Secretary-General of the United Nations (2017-2021). The European Youth Forum calls on Mr Guterres to be a true ally of youth, to include young people in the work of the United Nations and encourage the true participation of young people in its decision-making processes.

The new Secretary-General takes the reigns at a key moment for all of our futures and the planet’s. He has a huge opportunity to involve young people in making their – and coming generations’ - future better, through achieving sustainable development, lasting peace and security and full enjoyment of human rights for all.

We call on Mr Guterres to increase the level of youth participation in implementation, monitoring and the review of Agenda 2030 and to give a strong signal to the member states to include young people in processes related to sustainable development.

When it comes to peace and security, we hope to see stronger recognition of the role young people and youth organisations play in peace-building and countering violent extremism and call the full implementation of the Security Council resolution on Youth, Peace and Security.

We urge the United Nations to give more attention to youth rights and ensure young people have access to their rights.

In addition, the European Youth Forum calls for:

  • A stronger focus on UN resolutions on the subject of youth. Youth organisations must have a bigger role in developing resolutions and this input should be provided through collaborative participation of young people.

  • The Secretary-General to give more priority to youth participation, including supporting and engaging with youth delegate programmes.

  • Cooperation with international youth organisations and the creation of mechanisms through which representative youth organisations can systematically input into the work of the Secretary-General.

  • The Secretary-General to have a Envoy on Youth and to also appoint other envoys focusing on issues particularly affecting young people.

  • The Secretary-General to launch initiatives particularly targeting youth development issues.

It is important that the UN shows it represents a diverse and inclusive society. Therefore, in future elections, we urge the United Nations to consider making this process more inclusive and increase the diversity of this position.

We look forward to Mr Guterres working closely with and for young people over his mandate.

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