29 Feb 2012

Forum Secretary-General urges participation of youth in decision-making

9:37 pm on 29 February 2012

The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, has called for increased participation of youth in decision making.

Mr Slade was speaking at the launch of the United Nations Children's' Fund 'The State of the World's Children' report, which focuses on children in an urban world.

He says the report is of particular significance to the Pacific where issues of population growth, urbanisation, and increasing vulnerability to climate change and disasters all collide.

Mr Slade says Pacific island countries are home to about 2 million people of whom almost half are children below the age of 18 and 20 percent in the age group from 15 to 24.

He says if development is to be meaningful for urban children and young people they must be involved.

Mr Slade says addressing the challenges presented by urbanisation in the Pacific with the input of children will have a positive impact on their well-being and, therefore, on the well-being of the broader community.