Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues and Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to deliver these closing remarks on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme, after such a wonderful three-day event.
I would like to warmly thank our host, the Government of Azerbaijan and the other co-conveners, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, UNESCO and the Council of Europe and their teams for tireless efforts over the past year to organize such a successful Global Forum.
Dialogues have been rich and interactive, recalling the need to ensure inclusive youth participation, and highlighting the critical relevance of youth policies to support youth empowerment and sustainable development at all levels. The Forum provided an excellent opportunity to exchange and reflect on a broad range of successful practices. We took stock of progress and debated on remaining gaps and challenges related to design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and accountability mechanisms.
With this historic event, the First edition of the Global Forum on Youth Policies, we have provided an unprecedented multi-stakeholder platform and given a true voice to youth from around the world. We brought together participants from more than 150 countries to promote and discuss how to achieve full, effective and inclusive implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth at all levels. Governments, youth experts, UN colleagues will undoubtedly leave Baku with a deeper understanding of the need to translate policies into concrete actions. “Youth Policy matters” and we all need to do better, collectively, guided by these key principles and common denominators discussed throughout the past three days.
Coming to next steps, UNDP welcomes the commitment of launching a Global Initiative on Youth Policies, announced as part of our “Baku Commitments” presented this afternoon by Ahmad, as a concrete follow-up to this important event and a coordinated and ambitious step to an accelerated implementation of the WPAY. To that effect, we look forward to engaging further with the co-conveners to materialize this global initiative, in line with our UN System-Wide Action Plan and our UNDP Global Youth Strategy 2014-2017, which is currently being operationalized at country and regional levels in the five regions of the world.
As you know, UNDP is present in more than 170 countries and territories and has been providing extensive support to national policy development and implementation through the provision of evidence-based policy guidance and programmatic support and by promoting an active participation of youth, including the most marginalized and vulnerable, in all spheres of society. UNDP also supports the capacity development of young people and youth-led organizations, and the development of youth caucuses in government, parliament or other representative bodies. We also engage with all of you through outreach, advocacy, thought leadership, global networks, development policy debates, in particular in the context of the post-2015 development agenda and the ongoing consultations on the means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. We also mainstream youth issues in development planning and support interministerial and intersectorial coordination.
We look forward to continuing these conversations with you and to transforming commitments into concrete action and results on the ground, in particular through value-driven partnerships for greater coordination and coherence within the UN system and with youth-led organizations.
Distinguished Colleagues and participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let’s commit to stay actively engaged and all work together to ensure we implement inclusive youth policies which will support youth but also their communities and societies and ultimately contribute to achieving sustainable human development and a better future for all. So, let’s make sure that Baku, Azerbaijan will go into world history as the solid foundation and concrete start of the process.
I, once again, thank the people and the Government of Azerbaijan, our generous host, as well as the other co-conveners and all participants for three lively days.
Thank you very much.