7th Economic and Social Council Youth Forum

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.

What are some of the contributing factors related to young women and men entering and remaining in the labor market?
How can local governments play a better role in providing smooth transition from school to the world of work for young women and men?
What is the responsibility of private sector in supporting young people to be skillful workers in the labor market?
What should positive youth livelihoods and decent work interventions look like?
How can governments create an enabling ecosystem for Micro, small and medium-sizes businesses to continue and expand their local business?
What role can cities play in addressing the gender gap in economic development for youth?
How can urban infrastructure prevent sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public spaces?
How can public transportation policies take into account the accessibility, mobility, and safety needs of young women?
What role can youth play in transforming social norms for promoting respectful gender relationships and safety in public spaces?
How can youth migration policies and programs make cities more sustainable?
What investments should migrants undertake in the productive sectors for the development of cities?
How can peace and security be guaranteed in cities with young migrants, while also fighting human trafficking?
How can the culture of peaceful coexistence between host communities and migrant or transient populations help create inclusive, safe and sustainable cities?
How should youth engage in initiatives, to promote the protection of cultural heritage, and in empowering young people to become responsible citizens and active agents of social change?
How are youth getting their voices heard in decision-making processes in urban local governance?
How are young people working to improve experiences with security, law and justice actors in their urban environments?
What are some of the forums and spaces that young people are using to shape and create the cities that they want? (politics, volunteering, activism)
How are young people working with others to develop community or collective solutions to urban issues such as basic services in informal settlements?