The National Youth Council of Russia and UN Habitat to commit joint programming
At the World Youth Festival (WYF) where over 20,000 youth from 150 countries gathered in Sochi, Russia, UN-Habitat and National Youth Council of Russia met to discuss possible joint activities to address the endemic issues of employment and the meaningful participation of youth in governance.
Both recognized that the youth are a critical demographic both nationally and globally in relation to sustainable urbanization. There are more people under the age of 25 today than ever, totaling over three billion or almost half of the total global population; 1.8 billion of that total is between the age of 12 and 24. These youth largely lives in cities and towns. It is estimated that as many as 60% of all urban dwellers will be under the age of 18 by 2030. In Russia, youth make up almost 20% of the population, a growing number of those youth live in urban centres, with almost 75% of the total population living in cities, a large number of these being youth who move to the city to access jobs and education.
Douglas Ragan, chief of UN-Habitat's Youth Unit stated, "We at UN-Habitat were amazed at the energy, creativity and passion demonstrated at the WYF." Further, "We eagerly accepted the invitation by the National Youth Council of Russia to work together and develop joint activities for both youth in Russia and globally."
During the WYF meeting, the first activity is followed by signing of a joint MOU at the 9th Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF9) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This MOU provides a roadmap for both agencies to develop programmes and policies that address the issues of livelihoods and engagement in governance.
Sergey Kochnev, who is the Advisor to the Chairperson of the National Youth Council of Russia said, "We believe its very important to integrate our youth organizations in the various events taking place all around the world. It's impossible to develop our country without proactively involving citizens and other interested stakeholders."
Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to UN-Habitat Vladimir Lenev stressed: "The role of Youth in the achievement of sustainable development goals cannot be exaggerated. It is the young people who will be living tomorrow in the cities which we build today. That's why it is very important to ensure that aspirations of Youth become an integral part of sustainable urban development. The memorandum which we signed today serves as a path to achieve this goal".
Following WUF9, a joint work plan will be developed addressing the many common issues between the two agencies.