The Committee was reminded that, at its twenty-eighth session, in October 2014, it had agreed that the youth employment crisis was a universal challenge to which many organizations of the United Nations system could contribute, and that it had thus supported the proposal of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to establish a time-bound task team on youth employment to develop and launch a global initiative on decent jobs for youth. The task team’s terms of reference had been approved by the Committee at its twenty-ninth session in March 2015 and subsequently endorsed by CEB at its first regular session of 2015. The terms of reference stipulated that the proposal on the initiative would be considered by the Committee at its thirtieth session. In keeping with the agreed timeline, the Committee had before it a draft strategy for the global initiative on decent jobs for youth.
The representative of ILO highlighted the rapid, inclusive and constructive consultative process that had produced the draft strategy. She felt that it demonstrated the ability of the United Nations system to respond to the new 2030 Agenda by bringing together expertise and experience from various entities of the systemto form a coherent overarching strategy.
The strategy was formed around 14 guiding principles and composed of four interconnected elements: a strategic multi-stakeholder alliance that could influence policy, action and commitment; scaled-up regional and country-level action on decent jobs for youth; a knowledge facility that would make good practice from disparate sources accessible and digestible; and a dual financing track that maximized the use of existing facilities and funds to their full potential to promote youth employment and also mobilized additional dedicated resources to support the implementation of the strategy and action for youth employment. An 18-month launch and implementation phase was foreseen, during which, inter alia, the proposed governance mechanisms would be established, a three -year operational road map would be finalized and a number of country action plans and regional partnerships would be formed. The representative from ILO stressed that the success of the initiative depended on the full support of the entities of the United Nations system that would become members of the Alliance.
The Committee welcomed the draft strategy, congratulating ILO on its effective, participatory and galvanizing leadership and the task team on advancing the important, timely and ambitious initiative. It was observed that youth issues appeared throughout the 2030 Agenda, and that young women and men were sources of innovation and creativity who would themselves be key to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals.
Members agreed that the global initiative on decent jobs for youth is a good example of an issue-based coalition. Alluding to its earlier discussion, the Committee saw this as a potential template or model for a system-wide response in the context of the integrated and universal 2030 Agenda, in which a collective capacity was deployed to address a complex challenge.
Members appreciated that the initiative built on the commitment of the UN Youth-system-wide action plan. Specific references in the strategy document were welcomed, including to the importance of regional-level action, young women and gender equality, lifting youth out of vulnerable employment and easing the transition from informal to formal employment. The annex of select multi-stakeholder initiatives and partnerships was seen to be a usefulreference.
In closing the session, the Chair recognized the Committee’s wholehearted support for the initiative, and requested ILO to reflect comments from the discussion, as appropriate, in a revised draft of the strategy, to be provided to the Committee ahead of transmittal to the CEB for the Board’s endorsement.
The Committee approved the draft strategy for global initiative on decent jobs for youth, as set oout in annex IV, subject to the incorporation, as appropriate, of comments made during the session for endorsement by CEB at its second regular session of 2015.