Statement

Peace depends on the participation of young people

14 August 2017

Statement by UNFPA Acting Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem
International Youth Day
12 August 2017

Young people have the potential to act as greater forces for positive social change and to build the foundation for a just and peaceful world.

Today’s generation of youth has come of age in an era of crisis, conflict and disaster. Yet, it has largely been excluded from national and global efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts.

Building peaceful, cohesive and resilient societies requires the full and meaningful participation of young people. Investing in them in ways that build their capabilities and creating opportunities that will enable them to realize their full potential in life are a prerequisite for their engagement in civic affairs.

If we want a more peaceful world, we can no longer afford to leave young people behind. We must listen to and work with them.

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, remains committed to supporting the efforts of governments and civil society to develop our greatest asset, young people, who can help us move closer to our shared vision for a world free of conflict and violence.