UN chief urges countries to bet on youth empowerment

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Youth Forum. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas (file)

Youth employment schemes must be at the heart of national and global economic plans.

That's the hope expressed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a wide-ranging address to students at Cairo University in Egypt on Wednesday.

Dianne Penn reports.

The Secretary-General outlined some of the challenges facing the world, such as increasingly interrelated conflicts, terrorism and climate change.

And while globalization has raised income levels and improved living conditions, he pointed out that many people are still being left behind.

He said there is nothing worse than a university graduate who cannot find a job and thus has no hope for the future, which makes it easier for extremist groups to take advantage of their frustration.

"The frustration in young people that have no hope in the future is a major source of insecurity in today's world. And it is essential that when governments plan their economic activities, when the international community develops forms of cooperation, it is essential to put youth employment, youth skills, in the centre of all priorities, in the centre of all projects. And unfortunately, this sometimes tends to be forgotten. And one way to avoid these to be forgotten is to bet strongly on the empowerment of young people."

Mr Guterres also spoke about the importance of interaction between political establishments and society at large.

He believes young people also have a key role to play here.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'23"

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