The Committee recalled that CEB, at its first regular session in 2012, focused on the topic of youth and sustainable development in light of the confluence of events during the Arab spring and in preparation for the Rio+20 Conference. Executive Heads had an exchange of views on the various dimensions of programmatic issues affecting youth, including youth employment, political inclusion, health and education. The Board underscored the importance of greater UN system coordination in support of youth development. Since then, UN-DESA and UN-HABITAT had led the Inter-Agency Network on Youth and Development (IANYD) in the preparation of a System-wide Action Plan on Youth. The Action Plan had been guided by the World Programme of Action for Youth, which provided the overall policy framework and guidelines for national action and international support to improve the well-being and livelihoods of young people. Within this context, the Action Plan focused on joint action by the UN system on the issues of employment and entrepreneurship, political inclusion, civic engagement and protection of rights and education, including education on sexual and reproductive health.
In the ensuing discussion, participants thanked UN-DESA and UN-HABITAT for leading the preparation of the Action Plan, which was seen as a useful tool to guide the UN system’s work in support of youth. Young people were a major stakeholder for many of the organizations which were already engaged actively in supporting youth, including through their participation in UN system activities such as on climate change, green economy, and health. In this regard, it was important for the UN system to be seen as actively supporting youth and to ensure that it leveraged resources within organizations as the implementation plan was being developed. Some participants expressed that the Action Plan was broad in its approach and as such it called the issue of resources into question. A reflection on mobilization of resources would be useful. Since completion of the Action Plan, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth had taken office. In this regard, participants looked forward to the Envoy’s contribution to the Action Plan.
The Committee thanked UN-DESA and UN-HABITAT for their leadership and encouraged organizations to participate actively in developing a strong implementation plan. It recommended the draft System-wide Action Plan on Youth for endorsement by CEB with the understanding that additional issues related to youth might be reviewed and addressed during the preparation of the implementation plan.