Make youth central to post-MDG future

Written by Nicole R Goldin, director of the Youth, Prosperity and Security Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, on CNN:

 “[…] the High Level Panel argued in its report: “after 2015 we should move from reducing to ending extreme poverty, in all its forms. We should ensure that no person – regardless of ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, race or other status – is denied universal human rights and basic economic opportunities.”

“Other status” must include age. Half the world’s population is under the age of 25, with roughly 1 in every 4 people today being a “youth” (if defined as 10 to 25). In the developing world, where more than 85 percent of the world’s youth live, economic growth, social progress and sustainability are undoubtedly contingent upon young people thriving and becoming healthy, productive, financially secure and positively engaged adults.  The opportunity cost of failing to align development goals and resulting policies, programs, and monitored progress with youth needs and aspirations is great. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was right in saying “the world ignores youth at its peril.””

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