THE ROLE OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

The youth who live in mutual respect and in the recognition of their place in their community are wise, quiet, respectful youth who contribute to the development of the community.

The world has the largest generation of young people in its history: a quarter of the world’s population is under the age of 24. More than 90% of the 1.8 billion adolescents and young people (10 to 24 years old) live in developing countries. Asia hosts the largest population of young people worldwide, and Africa the largest share of young people in its population with 40% of citizens under the age of 15. These figures will continue to increase over the next two decades, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, which are experiencing exponential population growth.

PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTURE OF YOUNG PEOPLE

If this youth constitutes a tremendous development potential, the challenges to be met remain enormous:  628 million young people aged 15 to 24 are unemployed, without training and education (the majority being girls)  ; this situation hampers their future prospects and makes them more vulnerable to the rise of extremism. Their sexual and reproductive health rights are far from being respected in many countries;  each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18 (i.e. 28 girls per minute), which will have important consequences on their health (especially through the risks associated with early pregnancies) and their entire lives and that of their children. In addition, young people, and in particular girls, are the first to be affected by crises, whether natural disasters or conflicts.