Statement by the youth at the concluding session of the sixth World Urban Forum (WUF) on 5th September 2012.
There are 3 billion youth in the world. Over 80% of these youth live in developing countries and by 2030 over 60% will live in urban societies. This ‘youth bulge’ will be the critical factor in shaping our urban future. Successful urban development will be won or lost based on youth participation.
Young people remain disengaged from the process of city planning and decision making. Decisions are routinely made without sufficient participation. We want to be heard and want to be heard in powerful ways. We are active stakeholders who need to participate. Together we have a role in ensuring that our urban future is a bright and prosperous one.
First, we acknowledge the support of UN Habitat for young people, in the establishment of the World Urban Youth Assembly at the World Urban Forum (Resolution GC/22/4, 2009). The 2012 Assembly in Naples, Italy highlighted the important contribution of young people in education, climate change, employment and land issues in urban areas. We ask UN-Habitat to commit to giving young people an active role in shaping the agenda and format of future World Urban Youth Assemblies, and leading panels and discussions to ensure that more young people are part of the road map of our collective urban future.