20 April 2005
An international team of young people recently produced a report containing recommendations on how national and international institutions can involve young people in helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The report, "Youth and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): Challenges and Opportunities for Implementation," was launched yesterday at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in New York, USA.
The report finds that, while young people often comprise 70 per cent of the population in many developing nations, much work needs to be done to address the needs of youth and their potential to contribute significantly to achieving the MDGs.
It also gives an overview on young people are directly involved and affected by each Goal and to provides for "Options for Action" that governments, the United Nations agencies and civil society organizations can increase youth's support in making significant contributions to realizing the MDGs.
During an intensive 12-month process, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Youth collaborated in researching, drafting the report and organizing a consultations that spanned more than 100 countries.
"The Secretary General is very pleased with your assessment that the MDGs are an opportunity to mobilize youth and your determination not to miss this occasion," commented Mark Malloch Brown, Chef de Cabinet to the UN Secretary General.
Among the report's recommendations are: encouraging the establishment of grant programs for young 'social entrepreneurs' who are leading development programs but lack access to mainstream funding and loan financing; emphasize partnerships between youth and their local authorities; and peer-led awareness campaigns to rally young people in western countries in support of their peers in developing countries.
Luis A. Davila-Ortega, a 22 year old Venezuelan with the New York-based Global Youth Action Network, the acting secretariat for the Ad-Hoc Working Group, said: "Young people must be recognized as key partners in implementing the MDGs; investing in today’s youth will provide the best return for tomorrow."
Read the report