No fewer than 74 million youth are currently idle due to lack of jobs, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, has said.

Guterres, who made the remarks in his message to the Sixth UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum, regretted the realities of unfortunate global challenges confronting the youth.

“Let me speak directly to these young participants. Just by being here, you show you care about the issues.

“Poverty. Unemployment. Climate change. Inequality. Injustice. You, your friends and young people around the world are living these realities.

“Globally, 74 million young people cannot find jobs.

“Conflicts are shattering families – and driving record numbers of youth from their homes.

“Even where there is peace, young people suffer from violence and discrimination,” Guterres said.

The UN chief, however, commended the resilience of the young people in spite of the difficulties that they faced.

“Young people are also on the vanguard of progress – as entrepreneurs, activists and community leaders.

“You inspire change,” the secretary-general said.

Guterres said the forum is interactive, adding the UN wants to hear from the young people.

“Tell us how the United Nations can see the world from your perspective – and answer your concerns.

“All of you have the talent, energy and ideals to prevent conflicts, defend human rights, secure peace and realise the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” he said.

According to him, the UN has already elevated youth issues on the global agenda, and commended Mr Ahmad Alhendawi, the first-ever Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.

“He (Alhendawi) has been a remarkable force in bringing together the UN and the world’s young people.

“We will build on this to create a safer and more stable world for all,” Guterres said.



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