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Op-Ed: Empowering youth to own their futures

At the Global Youth Forum, which takes place in Bali this week, young leaders and experts on youth from around the world will come together to form the international development agenda for the future.
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Executive Director of UNFPA Babatunde Osotimehin delivers his speech during the Global Youth Forum in Nusa Dua on Bali island on December 4, 2012. The ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Youth Forum is held from December 4-6. (Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP/Getty Images)

Suzanne Petroni directs the Gender, Population and Development program at the International Center for Research on Women. She serves on the board of directors of Advocates for Youth and sits on the International Steering Committee for the ICPD Global Youth ForumMeredith Waters is a senior at George Washington University majoring in public health and was selected by the United Nations as a Respondent for the Global Youth Fourm in Bali. She is also a member of the International Youth Leadership Council at Advocates for Youth.

Half of the world’s population is under 30 years old, and these youth comprise the most well-informed and well-connected generation the world has ever known.

We have the fortune of joining nearly 1,000 of these youth in Bali, Indonesia this week - not sightseeing, but formulating the international development agenda for the future.

As the world heads toward the twentieth anniversaries of the major international development conferences of the 1990s and the conclusion of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015, the United Nations has brought together young leaders and experts on youth from around the world for the ICPD Global Youth Forum


Mexico has 7 million lost youth

Survey exposes stunning number of “neither nors”
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Lost youth become drug cartel recruits (DAVID MONROY/AFP/Getty Images)
Mexico has a stunning 7.8 million young people who neither work nor study, according to a new government study. The so called “ni nis” or “neither nors” are believed to be a major cause of instability in Mexico, with the unemployed youth providing an army of potential recruits for drug cartels.
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