Reginal Youth Conference "Investing in Youth- Path to Accelerated Development", 9-11 May, Istanbul, Turkey

Sunday 25 September 2011 by Elizabet Dimitrova

Istanbul, 9-11 of May, 2011 The UN General Assembly proclaimed the year from August 12, 2010 to August 11, 2011 as an International Year of Youth (IYY) and reaffirmed the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY) to recognize the importance of educated, healthy, skilled and active youth for national development. Within the scope of International Year of Youth, UNFPA Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office is organizing a Youth Conference “Investing in Youth: Path to Accelerated Development”. The conference will focus on 3 issues where less costly investments can bare tangible results within next 3-5 years. It will also pay special attention to the gender aspects of investing in youth. The three issues are:

1. Ignorance - out, Sexual Health Education - in! Governments can ensure universal access of students to comprehensive, appropriately age-sequenced life-skills based sexual and reproductive health education, including HIV/STI prevention across all tiers of the educational system.

2. Healthy youth – healthy society now and in the future Governments can provide access to youth friendly, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services including HIV/STIs for all young people including most at risk/vulnerable youth

3. Youth counts! Countries may benefit from mainstreaming youth issues such as youth employment, skills development, education, youth migration, equal participation, social support and others into socio-economic and demographic policies and programmes. Young people from the region are being mobilized to express their voices at the Conference.