Cities Alliance co-hosts UN-HABITAT’s working group session on urban children and youth

The Cities Alliance Secretariat co-hosted UN-HABITAT’s working group session on urban children and youth. Researchers, practitioners, and policy makers gathered to lay the groundwork for the advancement of knowledge and understanding of a wide range of issues affecting urban children and youth.

 

As part of planned activities for World Habitat Day 2009, the Cities Alliance Secretariat co-hosted UN-HABITAT’s working group session on urban children and youth. The event was held at the World Bank in Washington, DC on 7 October 2009.

Researchers, practitioners, and policy makers gathered to lay the groundwork for the advancement of knowledge and understanding of a wide range of issues affecting urban children and youth. They also identified the need for continued research in this area in order to coordinate future activities. The research and findings will help governments and other stakeholders develop policy frameworks to address crucial issues facing children and youth growing up in urban areas.
 
Almost half the current global population is under the age of 24, and population projections suggest that virtually all growth over the next 30 years will be concentrated in urban areas. As stated at the working group session, these demographics demonstrate the urgent need to better understand how the needs of children and youth can be met and how they can be meaningfully engaged in their communities to become agents of change.
 
The working group session was the first step in a process which is expected to form the basis to establish an Urban Youth Knowledge network to be launched at the World Urban Forum 5 in Brazil in March 2010. This network will be tasked with implementing a comprehensive research plan on young people and cities in partnership with local governments and civil society.
 
The UN HABITAT’s Opportunities Fund for Urban Youth-Led Development was also discussed at the working group session. The fund is financed by the government of Norway and supports inspiring youth-led initiatives worldwide. It will provide financial support of up to $1 million per year to urban-based youth-led organisations working to improve the living conditions of their communities, many of which happen to be slums. The 67 recipients of the grants were announced on UN Habitat Day on 5 October.
 
As part of its efforts to include youth within the Cities Alliance activities, the Secretariat is currently exploring options to conduct joint work programmes with its members and in this area.
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