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UN Population Fund and Global Citizen Launch – Mobilizing People to Say “Youth Matter!”

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On International Youth Day, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and Global Citizen are launching #showyourselfie, a global campaign to urge world leaders to prioritize the needs and rights of young people in the post-2015 development agenda - the roadmap for the world’s development over the next 15 years.

“Young people were not in focus in the Millennium Development Goals, the last global  development plan that was adopted in 2000. They cannot be forgotten again,” said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA’s Executive Director.  ”Young people are a powerful force, individually and collectively. They are shaping social and economic realities, challenging norms and values and building the foundation of the world’s future. How we meet their needs and aspirations will define the world’s future,” he continued.

There are 1.8 billion young people in the world today - more than ever before. Yet, millions of them, especially girls, lack access to basic needs, such as education, health services, comprehensive sexuality education, decent work and protection from violence.  More than 500 million young people live on less than $2 a day, and nearly 175 million of them in poor countries cannot read a full sentence. Some 74 million youth aged 15-24 are unemployed.    

#showyourselfie is a petition with a difference. Every selfie is a visual signature. The campaign seeks to mobilize millions of young people and their supporters to tell decision makers across the world that young people must be at the centre of plans that will shape our future.

“#showyourselfie is a way of bringing young people, civil society, the private sector and governments together to amplify the call for the rights of young people to be at the centre of national priorities around the world. If we fail to confront this now, there is a huge risk that some of the world’s most pressing challenges will not be addressed,” said Hugh Evans, Chief Executive Officer of Global Poverty Project.

Starting today, people around the world are encouraged to take and submit a ‘selfie’ via twitter, Instagram or the websitewww.showyourselfie.org. The campaign will collate the personal portraits and stories and present them to decision makers as a massive display of public support for increased attention to and investment in the capabilities of young people, specifically in the areas of reproductive health, education and training for work and life.

Over the next 13 months, UNFPA and Global Citizen will work closely with partners, networks and organizations to gather the “selfies” which will be handed over to Member States at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2014 and 2015 to remind them that the time to invest in young people is now.

For more information about #showyourselfie, please visit www.showyourselfie.org.

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is the lead United Nations agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA expands the possibilities for women and young people to lead healthy and productive lives. It works in more than 150 countries and territories, home to 80 per cent of world population. In these nations, the Fund is a catalyst for progress. Working with governments and through partnerships with other United Nations agencies, civil society and the private sector, it makes a real difference in the lives of millions of people, especially those who are most vulnerable. For more on what it does, visitwww.unfpa.org, “like” UNFPA on Facebook and follow it on twitter and Instagram @UNFPA. (PR)




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