World leaders will unite to launch Generation Unlimited

By agency reporter
September 22, 2018

World leaders will launch a new partnership to get every young person into quality education, training or employment by 2030, next week at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. Generation Unlimited will tackle the global education and training crisis currently holding back millions of young people and threatening progress and stability.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and  Unilever CEO Paul Polman are among the global, business, education and youth leaders behind Generation Unlimited who will unite at a high-level event on Monday 24 September 2018 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to launch the partnership.

Without urgent investment in education and skills training, the rapidly growing global population of adolescents and young people – which will reach two billion by 2030 – will continue to be unprepared and unskilled for the future workforce. And with more than 200 million young people of lower and upper-secondary school age currently missing out on school, instead of contributing to equitable progress, young people – especially the most disadvantaged – could face futures of compounding deprivation and discrimination.

Generation Unlimited – which forms part of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Youth 2030 Strategy – will complement and build on existing programmes that support adolescents and young people. The partnership platform will focus on three key areas: secondary-age education; skills for learning, employability and decent work, and empowerment. A Youth Challenge taking place in 16 countries worldwide this year calls for applications from young people to create solutions that will support the three key pillars of Generation Unlimited.

“All our hopes for a better world rest on young people,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “The world is home to the largest generation of young people ever – 1.8 billion. Sustainable development, human rights, peace and security can only be achieved if we empower these young people as leaders, and enable them to unleash their full potential."

The President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame.,said:“Your role begins with reminding us that what has been achieved, as meaningful and difficult as it was, is still not enough. We still have to aim higher and go farther. What is needed is focused and consistent implementation. We must also take advantage of the things we can do quickly, that require only political will. Whatever we want as Africans for our continent, we will have to fight for it. Africa’s prosperity will be built through patient work and commitment. African youth, own our collective future, through technology, entrepreneurship and above all, our dignity,”

“When we invest in our youth, we are giving them equality of opportunity, a chance to achieve their aspirations, and a better economic future”, said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “If countries prioritise investments in human capital, they can transform the future for their economies, families, and millions of young people whose dreams are only matched by their will to achieve them.”

 Federica Mogherini,  High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Union, said: “Let’s make this happen: make sure that every young woman and man finds their place in society – through education, training or a good job – by 2030. This is Generation Unlimited, and I am proud the EU is part of it with UNICEF,”

“The change in demographics the world is experiencing, coupled with fast-moving technological advances, presents a critical moment in history. If we act wisely and urgently, we can create a skilled cohort of young people better prepared to create sustainable economies and peaceful and prosperous societies. Young people may represent 25 per cent of the global population, but they account for 100 per cent of the future. We cannot afford to fail them,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.

“With the UN Youth Strategy providing an umbrella for the UN’s work with and for young people, one of the first new actions is launching the Generation Unlimited partnership. I am excited to see how Generation Unlimited will roll-out as a tool to implement the UN’s system wide strategy on youth,” United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake.

“Today we have the largest generation of youth in history – a powerful force for change. 84 per cent of millennials are convinced they have a duty to make the world a better place, and many already are. Through Generation Unlimited, we aim to ensure no young person is left behind by helping to empower them so they can create a bright future for themselves and generations to come,” said Paul Polman, CEO Unilever.

“I’ve seen firsthand that listening to and learning from young people is one of the best ways to collaborate on creative solutions and address the challenges they face. When empowered to share their voices, they have so many innovative and creative ideas. I’m endlessly inspired by this generation and am committed to do what I can to help them achieve a brighter future”, said UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lilly Singh.

* Unicef UK


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