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World Youth Assembly-World Urban Forum
1 First ever report on the state of the world's urban youth launched
Rio de Janeiro, March 19 2010 In a grand ceremony on the evening of the first day of the World Youth Assembly, the UNHABITAT's executive director, Anna Tibaijuka launched the first ever report on the world's urban youth. The report highlights the conditions, aspirations and the status of young people living in cities of the world. The report draws from research studies conducted in five cities: Lagos, Nigeria; Mumbai, India; Kingtson Jamaica; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Nairobi, Kenya. the cities were chosen on the following criteria: Lagos, and Mumbai are the world's mega cities and are predicted to grown into the largest cities in the world within a decade; Rio de Janeiro is already one of the largest; Kingston is one of the fastest growing cities and Kenya has one of the highest population densities. The five city survey each comprised both quantitative and qualitative data generated first hand on the basis of a structured design sample. The findings of the city survey are remarkably similar. A major finding of the study and of the Report is that predetermined circumstances of birth; family resources and location; intergenerational deprivation and unequal opportunities make for inequitable situations for young people. The only way to level the playing field for young people is to increase the opportunities in education and livelihood choices and expand opportunities for growth with dignity and ensure the integration of youth concerns and their participation in urban policies. Young people, the report affirms are not only able to discern and diagnose causes of the social and community problems that beset them, but are also capable of devising solutions to the problems. This tendency in youth must be encouraged. The five cities report was also the subject of a three hour session where the five authors of the study and five youth participants of the survey were invited to present the relevant issues for discussion. What emerged was a lively discussion on the findings of the report and the surveys and about where this should take us. In order to do this, the UNHABITAT has also launched a youth Opportunities Fund since the last year. In its second round the Fund calls for applications for grants from youth-led groups working on community problems. The deadline for applications is April 15, 2010 this round (for more information see www.yess.co.in or the UNHABITAT website.) Eric Berg, Senior Advisor at the Roay Ministry of Foreign Affairs Norway ---that has funded the first two rounds of the Youth Opportunities Fund---commended the process of the Fund and its transparency. He pointed out "Younth around the world recognise the problems and challenges they have to face and in many cases know the solutions. Last year's beneficiaries participating in the Youth Assembly elaborated on their projects, each focusing on a critical social/economic problem of the region whether it was women's empowerment and expansion of microcredit facilties (Pakistan); HIV aids education or rehabilitation of youth in war-torn Sierra Leon. The grand finale of the Youth Assembly saw a vibrant performance of the world famous samba, that Rio de Janeiro is so well known for. and a vociferous participation of theyouth assembly in the song and dance, carnival like end to this year's sessions. The assembly's proceedings have been developed into a substantial note to be presented to the World URban Forum that begins on March 22, 2010 at the same venue so that the Forum may take note of the youth deliberations and recommendations for urban programmes and plans.
Padma - Prakash   Posted on: 23 Mar 10
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