World leaders unite under new initiative to provide quality education and training for young people

‘Generation Unlimited’ seeks to get every young person prepared for future employment by 2030

24 September 2018
Liza Naumenko, 15, attends a maths class at secondary school number 5, in Krasnohorivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, Tuesday 21 November 2017.
UNICEF/UN0150825/Gilbertson VII Photo

 

Photo and b-roll content of participants at the launch event will be uploaded in real time here
Generation Unlimited launch event will be live streamed here

 

NEW YORK, 21 September 2018 – World leaders will launch a new partnership to get every young person into quality education, training or employment by 2030, next week at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. Generation Unlimited will tackle the global education and training crisis currently holding back millions of young people and threatening progress and stability.

 

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres; President of Rwanda Paul Kagame; World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Union, Ms. Federica Mogherini; UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore; United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake; Unilever CEO Paul Polman; UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lilly Singh; and global pop group BTS are among the global, business, education and youth leaders behind Generation Unlimited who will unite at a high-level event on Monday 24 September at 12.00pm at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to launch the partnership.

 

Without urgent investment in education and skills training, the rapidly growing global population of adolescents and young people – which will reach 2 billion by 2030 – will continue to be unprepared and unskilled for the future workforce. And with more than 200 million young people of lower- and upper-secondary school age currently missing out on school, instead of contributing to equitable progress, young people – especially the most disadvantaged – could face futures of compounding deprivation and discrimination.

 

Generation Unlimited – which forms part of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Youth 2030 Strategy – will complement and build on existing programmes that support adolescents and young people. The partnership platform will focus on three key areas: secondary-age education; skills for learning, employability and decent work; and empowerment. A Youth Challenge taking place in 16 countries worldwide this year calls for applications from young people to create solutions that will support the three key pillars of Generation Unlimited.

 

“All our hopes for a better world rest on young people,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “The world is home to the largest generation of young people ever – 1.8 billion. Sustainable development, human rights, peace and security can only be achieved if we empower these young people as leaders, and enable them to unleash their full potential.”

 

“Your role begins with reminding us that what has been achieved, as meaningful and difficult as it was, is still not enough. We still have to aim higher and go farther. What is needed is focused and consistent implementation. We must also take advantage of the things we can do quickly, that require only political will. Whatever we want as Africans for our continent, we will have to fight for it. Africa’s prosperity will be built through patient work and commitment. African youth, own our collective future, through technology, entrepreneurship and above all, our dignity,” President of Rwanda Paul Kagame.

 

“When we invest in our youth, we are giving them equality of opportunity, a chance to achieve their aspirations, and a better economic future,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “If countries prioritize investments in human capital, they can transform the future for their economies, families, and millions of young people whose dreams are only matched by their will to achieve them.”

 

“Let’s make this happen: make sure that every young woman and man finds their place in society – through education, training or a good job – by 2030. This is Generation Unlimited, and I am proud the EU is part of it with UNICEF,” High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Union, Ms. Federica Mogherini.

 

“The change in demographics the world is experiencing, coupled with fast-moving technological advances, presents a critical moment in history. If we act wisely and urgently, we can create a skilled cohort of young people better prepared to create sustainable economies and peaceful and prosperous societies. Young people may represent 25 per cent of the global population, but they account for 100 per cent of the future. We cannot afford to fail them,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.

 

“With the UN Youth Strategy providing an umbrella for the UN’s work with and for young people, one of the first new actions is launching the Generation Unlimited partnership. I am excited to see how Generation Unlimited will roll-out as a tool to implement the UN’s system wide strategy on youth,” United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake.

 

“Today we have the largest generation of youth in history – a powerful force for change. 84 percent of millennials are convinced they have a duty to make the world a better place, and many already are. Through Generation Unlimited, we aim to ensure no young person is left behind by helping to empower them so they can create a bright future for themselves and generations to come,” said Paul Polman, CEO Unilever.

 

“I've seen firsthand that listening to and learning from young people is one of the best ways to collaborate on creative solutions and address the challenges they face.  When empowered to share their voices, they have so many innovative and creative ideas. I'm endlessly inspired by this generation and am committed to do what I can to help them achieve a brighter future,” said UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lilly Singh.

 

“In our LOVE MYSELF campaign, we talk about the meaning of true love. We encourage every young person to find the love from within themselves and spread that love to others. We think the mutual support from youth to each other is the first step to show love,” said UNICEF global supporters BTS.

 

# # #

Notes to Editors:

About Generation Unlimited
As part of the Youth 2030 Strategy, Generation Unlimited launches to help address the desperate lack of quality education, skills training, and employment opportunities for young people. Generation Unlimited brings together a wide range of partners – governments, the private sector, academia, international and civil society organizations, and – most importantly – young people themselves, to co-create, fund and scale up innovative solutions to expand opportunities for the world’s young people.

Generation Unlimited leaders group members:

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Founder and Chairman, BRAC; H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Mr. Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Education, United Nations; Ms. Julia Gillard, Chair, Global Partnership for Education; Mr. António Guterres, Secretary General, United Nations; H.E. Mr. Paul Kagame, President, Republic of Rwanda; President Jim Kim, President, World Bank Group; Ms. Graça Machel, Founder, Graça Machel Trust; Mr. Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever; Ms. Vibhu Sharma, Co-Chair, Global Partnership for Children with Disabilities Youth Council.

Generation Unlimited board members:

Ms. Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, Chief Executive Officer, Plan International; Ms. Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education; Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary-General, World Organization of the Scout Movement; Ms. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Ms. Harriet Baldwin, Minister of State, Department for International Development, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Mr. Sigve Brekke, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor Group; Ms. Sarah Brown, Executive Chair, Global Business Coalition for Education; Ms. Ilwad Elman, Director, Elman Peace Centre; Mr. Tony Elumelu, Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation; Ms. Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); Mr. Michael Froman, Vice Chairman and President of Strategic Growth, Mastercard; Mr. Napoleón García, Youth Director, Nuestro Tiempo and Censura Cero; Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer, World Bank; Mr. José Ángel Gurría, Secretary General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); Mr. Per Heggenes, Chief Executive Officer, IKEA Foundation; Ms. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance, Republic of Indonesia; Mr. Safiqul Islam, Director of Education, BRAC; Ms. Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, The Netherlands; Ms. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund; Ms. Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact; Mr. Michael Kocher, General Manager, Aga Khan Foundation; Ms. Shamma bint Suhail bin Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of Youth, United Arab Emirates; Ms. Rosemary Mbabazi, Minister of Youth, Republic of Rwanda; Mr. Norbert Meder, Chief Executive Officer, SOS Children’s Villages International; Ms. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Union; Mr. Sobel Aziz Ngom, Founder and Executive Director, Social Change Factory; Mr. Hernán Rincón, Chief Executive Officer, Avianca Holdings; Mr. Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO); Mr. Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); Mr. Justin van Fleet, Director, The Education Commission; Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, Secretary General's Envoy on Youth, United Nations; Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations

Generation Unlimited champions group members: Mr. Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation, Kingdom of Belgium; H.E. Mr. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, President, Republic of Kenya; Ms. Tsitsi Masiyiwa, Co-Founder & Co-Chair, Higher Life Foundation; Ms. Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

For more information about Generation Unlimited please visit: www.GenUnlimited.org

Media Contacts

Georgina Thompson

UNICEF New York

Tel: + 1 917 238 1559

Multimedia content

Young U-Report participants in Kyrgyzstan exchanging opinions on lauch of the survey applciation.

 

Additional materials for media

About Generation Unlimited
As part of the Youth 2030 Strategy, Generation Unlimited launches to help address the desperate lack of quality education, skills training, and employment opportunities for young people. Generation Unlimited brings together a wide range of partners – governments, the private sector, academia, international and civil society organizations, and – most importantly – young people themselves, to co-create, fund and scale up innovative solutions to expand opportunities for the world’s young people.