Today, there are about 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24, the largest youth population the world has known. However, youth participation in political and decision-making processes at the local, national, and international level remains low and the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to impact this even further. Breaking the barriers to youth inclusion is crucial to the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. And as outlined in the UN Youth Strategy, “The United Nations cannot achieve its missions without partnering with young people and ensuring they are not only heard but understood”. One way to enhance young people’s participation is through the UN Youth Delegate Programme. For young people to be truly at the heart of our sustainable development efforts, and to ensure that no one is left behind, more focus must be placed on ensuring the active engagement of young people from developing countries, including those from vulnerable or marginalized populations in the discussion on this year’s theme of the Commission for Social Development.
In this context, we would like invite the official youth delegates designated by the UN member states to review and formulate concrete recommendations on what it takes to enable a socially just transition towards sustainable development, as well as to examine the role of digital technologies in facilitating a transition that is inclusive and more equitable, particularly within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The outcomes of the event can help provide substantive inputs to the priorities of Member States in their discussion of social development focused on youth, within the context of the theme of this year’s 59th session on the Commission for Social Development.
The event, coorganizaed by the Permanent Mission of Portugal, the Delegation of the European Union and UN DESA, will be centered on Youth Delegates participating in the 59th session of the Commission on Social Development, and will consist in a panel with the audience followed by interventions/statement of Youth Delegates and an interactive segment with questions posed by the Youth Delegates to the panelists on the theme of the event. There will be an effort to ensure regional representation, based on confirmed Youth Delegate participation.