The Council today adopted conclusions on the role of youth in external action.
In its conclusions, the Council stresses the contribution of young generations to building stronger, more legitimate, peaceful and democratic societies, in which human rights and the rule of law are respected and no one is left behind. The Council also emphasises the fact that young people are change makers and essential partners in the implementation of the European Consensus on Development, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The world’s youth population aged 15-24 will grow to nearly 1.3 billion by 2030. The Council recognises that young generations are too often confronted with a range of challenges including poverty, socio-economic and political exclusion.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the related negative effects on the economy and employment are expected to have a severe impact on young people, especially on those from disadvantaged backgrounds and young women and girls, thereby affecting their longer term socio-economic status.
With a view to harnessing the creative and innovative potential and abilities of youth, the Council stresses the importance of investing in and working with, by and for youth. The Council highlights the need to ensure the meaningful inclusion and active participation of youth at all levels of society, and in economic and political life. Active engagement should be promoted so as to strengthen business environments, promote social reconciliation and counter violent extremism.
The Council also calls for the promotion of youth access to education, decent jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, as well as health-care services. In these areas, there is a need to eliminate all forms of gender-based discrimination and violence. The enjoyment of all human rights, including social and labour rights for youth, must be guaranteed.