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World Population Day: Empowering Youth to Create a Better World

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Investing in youth is the smart thing to do

As the global community marks the World Population Day, the United States of America today underscored the importance of investing in youth to create a better world for all.

In his remarks in Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the young people will set the course of global health and population growth for many years to come.

That is why there is a need to remove barriers to health services, education, and employment.

When barriers are removed, it is only then that youth can realize their full potential and help drive social and economic development.

Young People Are Left Behind

India is anticipated to overtake China as the world's most populous country by the mid-21st century. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

According to Secretary Kerry, young people face enormous challenges globally.

He reported that a half a billion young people subsist on less than two dollars a day, carving out lives in urban slums and rural fields.

In addition, more than two million adolescents live with the scourge of HIV/AIDS, many without access to lifesaving treatment.

Practices of early and forced marriage also persist despite US commitment and advocacy to eradicate them.

In fact, a survey says one out of every three girls in developing countries will be married before reaching 18 and more than 15 million girls will give birth each year. These practices rob the young girls of the chance to finish school and pursue their dreams.

On Empowering the Youth

According to the UN, half the world is under 25 years of age - nearly 90 per cent of them in developing countries.

In addition, many of the young people today continue to grapple with poverty, inequality and human rights violations that prevent them from reaching their personal and collective potential. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) an estimated 515 million adolescents and youth, aged 15 to 24, live on less than $2 a day, and millions more face gender discrimination and other forms of marginalization.

Expressing concern with the youth today of being neglected by society, Secretary Kerry emphasized that the United States remains committed to working with the international community to build on the progress already made.

"Young people represent our hope for a brighter future." - Secretary Kerry

He highlighted that empowering the youth will create a better world for all.

The UN affirmed that the solution to addressing the challenges faced by the young generation lies in investment in health, education, training and employment for young people as they undergo the critical transition to adulthood

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain english. Read more stories by Mina Fabulous. Contact Mina through NewsBlaze.

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