Protect youths against recession and climate change: Ban

Calling for the protection of youth around the world, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said they have been ''hit excessively hard'' by the impact of the current global economic recession and climate change.

"On International Youth Day, let us renew our pledge to support young people in their development. Sustainability is the most promising path forward, and youth can lead the way," Ban said in his message.

"Young people often lead by example: practicing green and healthy lifestyles or promoting innovative uses of new technologies such as mobile devices and online social networks," Ban said, adding that they deserve full access to education, adequate health care, employment opportunities, financial services and full participation in public life.

Encouraged by the contribution on the global warming mitigation and adaptation debate made by youth, Ban said: "Their views and proposals can help build the momentum necessary to 'seal the deal' in Copenhagen later this year."

Referring to the theme of this year's International Youth Day -– 'Sustainability: Our Challenge, Our Future', Ban said this is a global call to action for young men and women.

"Our world faces multiple interconnected crises with severe and far-reaching impacts that fall disproportionately on the young," he said.

"In 2007, for example, youth comprised 25 per cent of the world's working population, yet accounted for 40 per cent of the unemployed," he said, adding, "the global economic downturn means that, in the near term, youth unemployment will continue to climb.

"Unemployment rates tell only part of the story, especially for the vast majority of youth who live in developing countries. For them, informal, insecure and low-wage employment is the norm, not the exception," he said.

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