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Youth in Asia-Pacific: An age of opportunity

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Presentation on theme: "Youth in Asia-Pacific: An age of opportunity"— Presentation transcript:

1 Youth in Asia-Pacific: An age of opportunity
ESCOC_ESCAP youth presentation 2 July 2012 Youth in Asia-Pacific: An age of opportunity “Regional perspectives on Youth and Development” ECOSOC 2012 Coordination Segment 10 July 2012 Noeleen Heyzer Under-Secretary General & Executive Secretary 1

2 Content Situation of youth in Asia-Pacific Good practices
Youth policies: the way forward 2

3 I. Situation of youth in Asia-Pacific

4 Over 60% of the world’s youth live in Asia-Pacific = 750+ million
Distribution of youth by subregion, Asia-Pacific, 2010 (UNDESA, World Population Prospects: the 2010 Revision) 4

5 Asia-Pacific will achieve the MDGs on education
The region is on track to meet the MDG targets on education The MDG target on gender parity in education will be achieved However, barriers remain for vulnerable youth to access education 5

6 Completing secondary & tertiary education remains a challenge
Gross Enrolment Ratios (GER, in %), (UNESCO Institute for Statistics, UIS Data Centre) 6

7 Youth unemployment in Asia-Pacific is relatively low compared to other regions
Youth unemployment rates by Asia-Pacific subregion (ESCAP, 2011 Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific) 7

8 Some countries have tapped the demographic dividend
Parts of East Asia & SE Asia have tapped the demographic dividend This requires a mix of social & economic policies to: Promote more investment in human capital Foster a climate of research & development openness to trade macroeconomic stability

9 Many young people lack access to sexual & reproductive health services
Such services are frequently not available to unmarried persons The adolescent birth rate is still alarmingly high in some countries 9

10 Youth are vulnerable to health risks
95% of new HIV infections are among young key affected populations In some countries, over 60% of women & girls reported physical & sexual violence by an intimate partner In many parts of Asia-Pacific, methamphetamine abuse is rising among young people 10

11 Asia-Pacific youth are highly “e-connected”
Over half of the region’s population is active online Nearly 60% of the world’s mobile phone-owning youth live in Asia Republic of Korea: world leader in e-connectivity China: 84% youth use mobile phones to access Internet Japan: 60% youth access social networks through mobile phones

12 Young people are promoting good governance
Youth are calling for greater accountability & social justice Philippines: well-developed youth civil society, with youth participation in local governance Pakistan: Young Parliamentarian Forum & on-the-job training for young people in Parliament 12

13 II. Good practices in Asia-Pacific

14 Youth are participating in national development
Timor-Leste: Youth Parliament influencing national decision-making Sri Lanka: National Youth Services Council established multiple platforms for youth engagement in national development processes 14

15 Youth are a force for economic development
Bangladesh: national policy to increase employability Viet Nam: national strategy to generate jobs & reduce unemployment China: national initiative to promote entrepreneurship

16 Youth are defining the future sustainable development agenda
India: youth volunteers promote water, sanitation & hygiene Pacific: youth leaders address climate change Central Asia: youth-led initiatives preserve biodiversity 16

17 III. Youth policies: the way forward

18 Invest in youth: it makes economic sense
Link education & training programmes to labour market demands Increase government spending on quality education & training Strengthen education & employment support for out-of-school youth 18

19 Enhance inter-generational contracts
Generate decent jobs for youth in the formal sector Create a sustainable tax benefit system Promote universal social protection through a life-cycle approach

20 Provide youth-friendly information & services to promote healthy lifestyles
Integrate information on healthy lifestyles in educational curricula Support effective peer education programmes Engage young men in programmes & services

21 Enhance regional cooperation to strengthen the youth agenda
Support evidence-informed policies through knowledge sharing & data collection Promote multisectoral cooperation Engage young people in policy processes Build leadership, mutual understanding & respect among youth throughout Asia-Pacific

22 Let us invest in youth for a more inclusive, resilient & sustainable future!

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