Unemployment makes youth vulnerable to radicalization

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Job seekers in Zimbabwe. ILO Photo/Maillard J.

A lack of opportunity among millions of unemployed young people may cause them to lose faith in government and institutions according to the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson.

He was speaking at an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development which took place in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1995.

World leaders agreed there that people must be placed at the centre of development efforts.

Ana Carmo reports.

The UN Deputy Secretary-General said the objectives set out in Copenhagen had deep roots in decades of thinking on how to effectively integrate the social, economic and environmental dimensions of development.

This, he added, was to ensure not only sustainable growth but also dignity and justice for all.

Jan Eliasson said that despite progress that has been made, more than one billion people still live in extreme poverty and inequality tends to be systemic and in many cases widening to what he called "an alarming degree".

The Deputy UN chief said unemployment remains high with young people bearing the brunt.

"Globally, as many as 73 million young people are looking for jobs, 73 million. Young people are three times more likely than adults to be unemployed. Many more are trapped in jobs where they are objects of exploitation. When young people sense frustration and anger at a glaring lack of opportunity, they are more likely to lose faith in government and in institutions. In many parts of the world, this leaves young people receptive and vulnerable to marginalisation and radicalisation." (29")

Jan Eliasson stressed the need for what he called "a set of new sustainable development goals which are universal, people-centred and cross cutting nature."

Ana Carmo, United Nations.

Duration: 1’15″

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