Commission on Population and Development Adopts Resolution on Youth and Adolescents

27 April 2012: The 45th Session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has concluded with the adoption of a resolution on adolescents and youth that urges Member States to improve the quality of and access to education, in order to equip adolescents and youth with the necessary knowledge, capacities, skills and ethical values.

The session took place from 23-27 April 2012, in New York, US, on the theme “Adolescents and youth” and considered, among other things: follow-up actions to the recommendations of the International Conference on Population and Development; national experiences in population matters in relation to adolescents and youth; the contribution of population and development issues to the theme of the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) in 2012; and programme implementation and future programme of work of the Secretariat in the field of population.

The session was addressed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who highlighted how youth are shaping history, stressing that “youth are more than a demographic force – they are a force for progress.” He also called for more youth employment and improved healthcare. Marjon Kamara, Acting President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), speaking on behalf of UNGA President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, called on governments and the international community to address the challenges limiting youth from furthering their own development and that of the communities in which they live. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), in a speech delivered by Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, noted that actions relating to adolescents and youth in the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development are important for meeting internationally-agreed development goals.

In the resolution adopted by the session, Member States recognize the influence of youth's ability to address their aspirations and challenges, and to fulfill their potential on social and economic conditions and the wellbeing and livelihood of future generations. In addition, the resolution highlights the need for improved reproductive and sexual health education for youth and adolescents, as well as for education on human rights and gender equality. States are urged to address youth unemployment and to pass laws, formulate policies and undertake education programmes to eradicate harmful practices such as early and forced marriages and female genital mutilation.

The Commission also adopted draft decisions on: the Secretary-General's biennial report on world demographic trends; and a special session to assess the status of implementation of the goals and objectives of the Cairo Programme of Action. [45th Session Website] [UN Summary of Session] [Statement of UN Secretary-General] [Statement of UNGA President] [Statement of UNCSD Secretary-General]