ILO Director-General Guy Ryder introduced the Initiative, saying that it represented an exemplary system-wide effort for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular of Goal 8 on “inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all,” and the other goals concerned with youth employment.
Under the ILO lead, the Initiative was developed by 19 entities of the United Nations that are committed to increase the impact of youth employment policies and expand country-level action on decent jobs for young women and men.
“The youth employment crisis represents a huge decent work deficit for societies worldwide and one of the main challenges of our time. Following the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we have the unique opportunity to work together to scale up action on youth employment and tackle this crisis head on,” said Ryder.
More specifically, the Initiative proposes to:
- Engage key stakeholders and world leaders in high-level policy action on youth employment;
- expand and scale up national and regional policies and interventions on youth employment;
- pool existing expertise and enhance knowledge on what works for youth employment; and
- leverage resources from existing facilities while also mobilizing additional resources.
The Initiative is regarded as a template for assisting member states implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and an inspiration for broad collaboration and partnership among all key actors, including the social partners, youth organizations and the public and private sector.
Youth employment has been a longstanding priority on the agenda of the United Nations and, in particular, of the ILO.