ECOSOC Youth Forum: Italy calls for youth greater participation in Covid recovery

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NEW YORK, APRIL 8 – “The Covid 19 pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our lives, especially in the lives of young people, and has imposed severe limitations on autonomy and social interaction, significantly reducing the space for participation and gathering. Young people are perhaps the category most penalized by the measures of containment that we had to adopt against the pandemic,” the Italian Minister for Youth Policy, Fabiana Dadone, said in her address today to a round table of the 10th edition of the ECOSOC Youth Forum.

Over 11,000 young people from all over the world

Over 11,000 young people from all over the world – a record in UN history, the UN Special Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake revealed – gathered in virtual format for Forum, the UN’s main platform for addressing youth issues, including the impact of Covid. The two-day event, opened yesterday by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with a call for world leaders to work, overcoming “platitudes,” to ensure a better future for youth, consisted of plenary sessions and thematic and regional discussions.

Dadone, engage young people meaningfully and systematically

Ms. Wickramanayake said that “youth-focused recovery is the right approach. We need the skills, ideas and energy of young people. We need to show the generations before us that those of us who are Millennials and Generation Z are walking the talk when it comes to inclusivity and equality”, advocating for more youth representation where decisions are being made. Participation “is the main objective of the European strategy 2019-2027 for youth, to which the youth policies of the Italian government are strongly inspired”, said Dadone. She added that it is “essential that young people are involved and consulted significantly, not just occasionally, in the development of policies that affect them.”

The Italian Minister then illustrated specific initiatives adopted by Italy in the framework of the presidency of the G20 and the co-organization with the United Kingdom of the Cop26 summit on climate change, in particular the Y20 summit and the event ‘Youth4climate: Driving Ambition’ in which 400 young people from 197 countries will participate. (@OnuItalia)