Young people using music and artistic presentations to expressed their convictions
One hundred young people, representatives of permanent missions and non- governme- ntal organizations, journalists and United Nations staff, observed the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 18 October at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
The event, organized jointly by United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Geneva and the non-governmental organization ATD Fourth World, provided an opportunity for children and young people to make their voices heard. Using speeches, music and artistic presentations, they expressed with strong conviction their views on this year's theme: “From Poverty to Decent Work: Bridging the Gap”.
A group read a multilingual “Call from European Youth on 17 October”. “We young people from abandoned neighbourhoods, caring for families, without a job or without roots - we claim a future!” they said. “We want to be integrated into and recognized by the world of work. But to get a place in this world we need structures, places and people who help us grow,” they added.
Concrete projects to help young people were depicted in a film screened during the event. The film showed how ATD Fourth World offers computer training and internships to youth from excluded neighbourhoods in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Participants explained how these programmes helped them gain confidence, skills and experience and prepared them for their professional future.
With young people three times more likely to be unemployed than adults, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for special attention to be paid to their situation. “Last year, more than 81 million young people were unemployed, the highest on record,” said his message for the Day, which was read during the event. “Decent and productive work is one of the most effective ways to fight poverty,” the message added, underscoring that “One of the best ways for youth to see a future of hope is through the prism of a decent job.”
This focus on decent work was also illustrated by the presence at the event of a representative of the Youth Employment Network, a partnership between the United Nations, the International Labour Organization and the World Bank.