PH Should Take Advantage of Youth Population to Effect Change, Says UN

Manila Bulletin, September 16, 2018 | Go to article overview

PH Should Take Advantage of Youth Population to Effect Change, Says UN


By Chito Chavez

Representatives of the United Nations said the Philippines, which has the third youngest population in Asia Pacific, should take advantage of its young population to effect change and end poverty.

The statement was issued made by the UN to the country's youth during the recent Global Youth Summit held in the country.

Before more than 19,000 young people, Titon Mitra, the Country Director of the United National Development Programme (UNDP), said the Philippines should take advantage of its young population to effect change and ultimately end poverty and the effects of climate change.

"There are 1.4 billion people 10 to 24 years old in the world and 87 percent of the young people are in developing countries; 700 million are in Asia Pacific and the Philippines has the third youngest people in the region. 30 percent of Filipinos are under 15 and the median age is 26. That's a lot of young people that can make the difference and I know most of you want to make a difference," Mitra said.

He pointed out that the youth have a very important role in effecting change because the world has only 10 years left to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted by 193 countries, including the Philippines, during the UN General Assembly in September 2015.

The 17 SDGs were agreed upon to implement programs on the whole sustainability agenda - poverty, human development, the environment, and social justice - for the transformation of humanity and the planet by year 2030.

"We set ourselves 15 years and we only have 10 years. The clock is ticking and we have to change the footprint we have on this earth. Our UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had said, 'we will be the first generation to end poverty and we will also be the last generation to live with the worst impacts of climate change' and if we don't succeed, the future generations will judge us very harshly. So the message is really simple, if we continue on as business as usual we are going to be in deep, deep trouble. It's not an option," Mitra said.

The Global Youth Summit 2018 is the largest gathering of youth leaders for SDGs.

Royston Cabunag, director of the SM Cares Program for Children and Youth, said the immense attendance at the summit is a testament to the commitment of today's youth to bring about change in every aspect of their lives. …

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