Statement of Pax Romana / UN Major Group for Children and Youth to the 25th UN-Habitat Governing Council

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Statement of Pax Romana / MGCY to 25th Governing Council of UN-HABITAT

“On behalf of the International Movement of Catholic Students – Pax Romana, one of the world’s largest youth-led organizations, as well as the UN Major Group for Children and Youth, the officially mandated platform for children and youth participation in official UN processes, we would like to remind you that children and young people play an indispensable  role in ensuring that policies negotiated in fora like this are transformative, practical, and positive for people at the grassroot level.

First, we would like to echo Dr. Clos in calling for the mainstreaming of youth and gender in the work of UN-HABITAT.  We thank Dr. Clos for this call and urge the Member States gathered here to take seriously this motion.

Secondly, we would like to remind you that the world’s population has never been younger.  Youth must be better involved in decision making at all levels, through inclusive and permanent mechanisms of participation that contribute to youth-led development, and partnerships between youth-led organizations and local, regional, and national governments, as well as the UN system.  We encourage the UN-HABITAT Youth and Livelihoods Unit continued endeavors in  strengthening the role and participation of young men and women, civil society, and other stakeholders at all levels of governance, emphasizing local governance, encouraging the inclusion of youth delegates in national delegations to the UN, and working towards the establishment of  permanent mechanisms for youth participation within the UN, for instance; through a UN Permanent Forum on Youth as well as well constructed and integrated Youth Advisory Boards within UN entities.

Finally, we urge UN-HABITAT to address the high rates of youth unemployment, underemployment, vulnerable employment, and informal employment in urban areas through the development of pilot programs and policies, such as scaling up the Urban Youth Fund and the One Stop Youth Resource Centre model.  These will enable the agency to work with Member States and local authorities towards the development and implementation of targeted and integrated local and national youth employment policies for inclusive, and sustainable job creation.

Children and young people are not simply the leaders of tomorrow, but also the leaders of today.  We are also the bridge between present and future generations.  Any policies made in this forum or any other must include the voices of young people and concerns of future generations.

Thank you very much.”

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About Pax Romana

IMCS – Pax Romana brings together over 80 diverse national federations, associations, and movements of Catholic university and tertiary students from six regions. IMCS is part of the International Co-ordination Meeting of Youth Organisations (ICMYO), a network of membership-based, democratic, representative and accountable International Youth NGOs and Regional Youth Platforms. For more information: www.imcs-miec.org and www.icmyo.org

About the UN Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY)
The UN MGCY is the official UN mandated platform for engaging children and young people in policy processes. The MGCY is involved in a number of processes, including the World Humanitarian Summit, the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Financing for Development, Disaster Risk Reduction, and others. The MGCY is open to all individuals 30 and under, as well as youth-led organizations, youth-supporting organizations, and child-focused agencies. For more information or to join, please visit childrenyouth.org.
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