Background and Context
Almost half of the total global population is under the age of 25 and around 1.8 billion people are between the ages of 18 and 24. The vast majority of these youth lives in urbanized areas, especially in the cities of the developing world that account for over 90% of the world’s urban growth. With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda, 2018 is the seminal year on the road to achieving sustainable urban development. If sustainable urban development is the foundation for sustainable future, young people are at the forefront of this collective endeavor.
The UN system embraces youth as a positive force for transformative change. Empowering youth to become agents of change within cities has the power to transform youth into a positive and productive driver for the overall national socio-economic development. Ad-hoc strategies and innovative solutions that account for larger youth populations living in and migrating to urban areas are necessary to enhance young people’s participation in the creation of sustainable cities. At the same time, addressing socio-economic barriers, reducing social isolation of neighborhoods and communities, and allowing youth to access opportunities can help cities become more inclusive.
In order to promote sustainable urban development and address the root causes of poverty and inequality, urban regulations and policies need to be reflective of the realities affecting young people. Ensuring youth have an institutional space to voice out their needs and are recognized as stakeholders in legislative frameworks allows young people to meaningfully engage and contribute to the cultural, social, economic, and political aspects of the society.
Participate in the ECOSOC Youth Forum 2018 by taking part in filling your opinion in the panel discussion questions below. Please note that your submission is not an endorsement to be featured in the high panel discussions of the ECOSOC Youth Forum.