Young people: Shaping the world’s future

06 Sep 2011

Young men and women at UN youth event August 2011 Young men and women are gathered at a special event in the UN, New York, as part of the activities of the International Year of Youth. (UN Photo/JC McIlwaine)

Taking part in last month’s United Nations High Level Meeting on Youth, I was inspired by the commitment and dynamism of the women and men aged 15 to 24 buzzing around me.

Some 500 young environmental and civic activists and entrepreneurs put their minds together in New York 25-26 July to respond to some of today’s most pressing global challenges.

They looked head-on at the impact of being out of work and of living in poverty – situations that a majority of the world’s 1.8 billion young people are facing.

Overseeing partnership and cooperation efforts of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), we bring together governments, the media, civil society and the private sector to focus on exactly these issues.

UNDP has been helping countries around the world with the design of fresh policies for job creation as a means for cutting poverty, particularly for younger generations.  

For example, today we are working to empower young people in Arab states, where they are experiencing unemployment at a rate twice the global average.

In Tunisia, we’re currently designing training and promoting entrepreneurship for youth in the province of Medenine whose economy has been badly affected by the Libyan crisis.

In Egypt, we’re promoting job creation through development of small and medium enterprises and micro-credit projects.

At the political level, following the revolution, we’re supporting the participation of young people in an Egyptian multi-party national dialogue to help them shape their own futures and nation’s future.

Talk to us: How can we help young people empower lives and build resilient nations for a better world?