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#Youth2015: young people unite at UN forum to shape future development agenda

A group of people in a conference room
June 5, 2014

UN News Centre – Young people from more than 1,000 youth organizations have gathered today at United Nations Headquarters to add their voices to the ongoing discussion about a new global agenda that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

“This is about your future – so it must be your agenda,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum, a two-day event that kicked off this morning in New York.

With 1.8 billion adolescents and youth around the world, young people face unique challenges in securing quality education, basic health and decent work, Mr. Ban noted. They also confront global challenges, such as climate change.

“There is a world of need out there, but also a world of opportunity. So I urge you to keep doing your part. Keep showing your leadership as global citizens,” he added, urging the youth participants to “keep making a difference.”

The Forum open as the United Nations and its Member States are working to craft a sustainable development agenda beyond 2015, the deadline for reaching the mainly anti-poverty targets set in 2000 when the MDGs were adopted. These negotiations must bear in mind that with half the world’s population under the age of 25, the current generation of youth is the largest ever, and specific targets focused on youth should be integrated into any future development framework.

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