Youth 21: The Nairobi Declaration

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The Youth 21 global initiative was co-organized by UN HABITAT and UNDP. It gathered over two-hundred and twenty (220) youth representing youth-led organizations and movements from across the globe, as well as UN Member States, members of parliament, private sector, civil society organizations, researchers and UN Agencies. The aim of Youth 21 is for youth to engage with the United Nations and support them in working towards democratic governance and sustainable development. Youth 21 has prepared the Nairobi Declaration and its recommendations in the hope that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, supportive governments, civil society will work in partnership with youth and engage them in governance at all levels, with an emphasis on creating mechanisms, such as the recently announced UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Youth, to engage youth within the UN system and beyond. Youth 21 identified a wide range of opportunities and reflected on the challenges arising out of the current global development context. It reiterated the need to see youth as a solution and not a problem. It noted the willingness of young women and men across the globe to play a more determinative role in democratic governance and sustainable development processes. It called for the removal of social, economic, and political barriers to youth participation, youth leadership and inclusion of youth within and outside the UN system.

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