Words of Welcome from the President

President’s Message to World Youth Conference 2016

I am pleased to send greetings to all participants at this important World Youth Conference 2016 “Youth for Sustainable Development”. I thank Government and people of India for generously hosting and co-organizing this event.

You are part of the largest generation of youth in history, and you meet at a once-in-a-generation moment, as world leaders adopted the post 2015 UN Development Agenda, comprising of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), replacing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Sustainable Development Goals aim to usher in a life of dignity for all people by the year 2030, when many of you will come of age. That is why we call today’s youth the “SDG generation.”

Sustainable development, peace and security are inextricably linked. Young people are essential to the establishment of lasting security. While media reports may portray youth, especially young men, as a threat, this is a gross distortion. Many combatants may be young but the vast majority of youth are not violent. They are often among conflict’s first victims – and they can lead as champions of peace.

There are countless youth organizations that want to wage peace, not war. Yet in conflict-torn countries, these groups lack the influence, capacity and funds they need to operate effectively. They share our ideals – and they deserve our unstinting assistance.

With the right support, young people can build peace, foster reconciliation and achieve democratic governance. I invite the representatives of governments, donor organizations and civil society partners to support these valuable youth initiatives. Fine words are worthy, but actions and support drive progress.

The United Nations is also working hard to listen and respond to today’s youth.

UN have already launched the World Youth Report 2016 on 15th July , explores young people's participation in economic, political and community life, responding to growing interest in, and an increased policy focus on, youth civic engagement in recent years among Governments, young people and researchers. The Report provides thematic insights on economic, political and community engagement, coupled with expert opinion pieces so as to provide robust and varied perspectives into youth engagement.

 I am also developing a comprehensive Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism that will seek to engage and empower youth.

We all yearn for a more just and peaceful world – and with the help of young people, such as those who have joined the rows of the United Network of Young Peacebuilders like many of you have, we can create it.

I hope the Conference will facilitate a process that strengthens effective youth participation in the planning, implementation and evaluation of various global issues of the world which refers to the process of defining the future global development framework that will succeed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) of the United Nation. It will also create an inclusive platform for youth that enables them to review the progress of the SDG's, share ideas, experiences and innovative approaches for effectively contributing to the SDGs framework and its implementation.

I call on leaders and peoples everywhere to join me in listening to youth, empowering them, and unleashing their potential for global empowerment and to achieve SDGs by 2030.

Welcome to India!

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Jayanta Patra

President, International Youth Committee

 

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