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UN Youth Strategy: a stepping stone to #YouthUp the UN?

24/09/2018

A simple answer: yes, but also with room for improvements.

Today, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, presented the UN Youth Strategy in an event chaired by Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. It has been a document which the European Youth Forum and other youth organisations have been waiting for with anticipation.

The European Youth Forum is very pleased to see the reality of the UN Youth Strategy. We and other youth organisations were able to provide input to earlier drafts of this Strategy. While we could have been further consulted, we are happy to see a good number of the European Youth Forum’s inputs integrated in the Strategy and its five priority areas.

It is equally a great pleasure to see UN Secretary-General Guterres continuing to prioritise youth during his mandate. The development of this Strategy represents the UN’s commitment to young people - a commitment that is indispensable for a peaceful, inclusive and sustainable world - recognising that young people can, do and should participate in work to support peace and security, human rights and sustainable development. Yet young people also need support to overcome the barriers and obstacles they face, particularly in accessing their rights.

In a step forwards for youth rights, the Strategy recognises young people as rights-holders and envisions a world in which the human rights of every young person are realised. We hope that this commitment to focus on rights across the UN system will also provide inspiration for Member States to advance youth rights around the world.

We welcome the increasing references to youth-led organisations in the Strategy, as well as during its launch today, which we hope will lead to greater representation and participation of democratic youth-led structures across the work of the UN. Meaningful youth participation can still be improved throughout the UN system and we look forward to providing our input and expertise to truly #YouthUp the UN as implementation of the Strategy gets underway.

The European Youth Forum will publish an in-depth analysis of the Strategy in the upcoming days - look forward!

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