Youth from around the world share their concerns with global leaders at the UN


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“Youth is a driving force for change.” stated United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the Global Interactive Dialogue on UN Youth Initiatives conference held ahead of the 2013 International Youth Day.

The event was an interactive panel discussion bringing together youth leaders from around the world to discuss issues that affect young people globally.

Through a live web cast, youth delegations from Belgium, Brazil, India, Lebanon, Liberia and the United States among many others raised key questions on issues related to governance, unemployment, gender and social inequality, violence and crime, the Millennium Development Goals and the upcoming post 2015 global development agenda.

“Your generation is the largest the world has ever known,” Mr. Ban told young people taking part in the global dialogue. “The tools at your disposal for communicating and acting are unprecedented. But so are the challenges – from growing inequalities and shrinking opportunities, to the threats of climate change and environmental degradation.”

Along with the Secretary General, various senior officials from UN agencies, as well as a youth activist Ms. Meera Bhat, participated in a series of discussion highlighting an important youth perspective on global issues and the multiple efforts undertaken by the United Nations to improve the lives of children and young people across the globe.

The theme of this year’s International Youth Day is "Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward."

Young people make up a significant share of the global number of international migrants. In 2010, there were an estimated 27 million international young migrants. While migration can often offer valuable opportunities and contribute to the development of communities and society at large, it can also pose risks and lead to unacceptable situations, including discrimination and exploitation.

The 2013 observance of International Youth Day will raise awareness of the opportunities and risks associated with youth migration, share knowledge and information stemming from recent research and analysis on this topic, and engage young people in discussions on their migration experiences.

Photo: © UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

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