Guterres: Young people must be recognized as 'drivers of change'

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said young people should be recognized around the world as “engines of change”.

In a message on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day, Guterres stressed the need to guarantee the right of young people “to effective and inclusive education, training and lifelong learning and therefore to develop their skills, while investing in technical education and vocational training, broadband connectivity and digital skills”.

To that end, high-level political leaders, youth and other education stakeholders will come together in September at an Education Transformation Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The UN chief also urged everyone to take action “to prioritize skills development for young people, at the Summit and beyond”, saying that “together, let’s build a fairer and more prosperous workforce. , save the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind.

For her part, the UN SG’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, speaking on behalf of the UN chief at an event in New York, noted that from climate change to conflicts in through persistent poverty, young people are “disproportionately affected by interlocking global crises”.

“Today we highlight the importance of transforming youth skills for the future of work,” she said, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated fragilities, leaving 24 million today out-of-school youth, and has accelerated the transformation of the labor market, while “increasing uncertainty and widening the digital divide”.


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