Statement of the United States of America
As delivered by Kathryn Keeley
Human Rights Council 34th session
Geneva, March 6, 2017
Thank you, Mr. Vice-President.
The United States supports efforts to protect the best interests of children in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development implementation process. We agree that children should get their best start in life to thrive. Children are the agents of change and should have the capacity to be active partners in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals.
Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, there has been significant discussion on the enormous potential of young persons to change the world for the better. Each day we are reminded that every young person is a key driver of prosperity, security, and democracy, both today and into the future.
The global youth bulge, rise of violent extremism, and high global youth unemployment demonstrate the urgency to invest in young persons. The generation of 1.8 billion young persons in the world today is the largest youth population in history.
This is a key moment for governments, aid agencies, and youth themselves. The United States Agency for International Development has been implementing the Youth in Development Policy since 2012. The agency has been engaging young persons as partners across sectors and working to ensure their needs are met in health, education, economic opportunity, and security. USAID also launched the program YouthPower last year. This is a 447 million dollar project which focuses on empowering young persons at the local, national, and global levels.
The U.S. government also supports the Young African Leaders Initiative, the DREAMS Partnership, Young Leaders of the Americas, and the Young South East Asian Leadership Initiatives. We also are a partner in the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children along with UNICEF and other organizations, with a focus to directly address the causes and consequences of violence in the home, school, and community with children both as beneficiaries and partners. We will continue to work with young persons wherever they are, and to encourage them as full partners in our efforts to foster sustained and inclusive economic growth and promote resilient, democratic societies.