Uganda among delegates of Asia Urban Youth Assembly 2017 in Malaysia
More than half the world’s population lives in cities, and in the next fifty years the proportion
will increase to two-thirds. Whereas only two out of 10 people in the world were living in urban
settings nearly a century ago, this numbers have increased greatly with urban populations now
out numbering rural populations. Presently, 1.8 billion people – more than a quarter of the
world’s seven billion people – are between the ages of 10 and 24, making this group largest ever
to be entering adulthood and the largest under-represented segment of the world’s population.
Most of these world’s youth – some 85 per cent – live in developing countries, which are
struggling to provide jobs and services for their burgeoning young populations. The Urban
youth population in the developing world is growing at an explosive rate. Between 2000 and
2030, Africa’s urban population, which is to a great percentage youth, will grow from 294
million to 742 million (155%). Similarly an increase in youth population of Asia (94%), and Latin
America’s (55%) will occur.
Historically, youth have not been seen as important enough to engage with yet there has been
a growing understanding and concern over the declining socio-economic situation of young
people and their lack of livelihood opportunities. Majority of young people especially those
from developing countries and informal settlements grow up in poverty and often excluded
from the economic, political, and social life of their countries, which in turn breeds
disillusionment and hopelessness, violence, and upheaval. United Nations Human Settlement
Programme1 (UN-Habitat) recognizes that these young people possess immense potential and
that investing in them offers both economic and social benefits required for successful
implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda’s. UNHabitat’s
priority is to ensure that youth priorities and targets including access to quality
housing, healthcare and education, employment, human rights and participation in decision
making are fully incorporated in the implementation strategies of the Sustainable development
Goals and the New Urban Agenda.
With this, The AUYA targets to provide a platform for young people to share experiences and knowledge, showcase solutions and initiatives, as well as develop partnerships in order to make cities and human settlements more equitable, inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. Delegates from Malaysia, Bangladesh, Belize, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Macedonia, Maldives, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, The United Arab Emirates, Uganda, United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe were also present in the Assembly.