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The urban generation: heirs to the new urban future, youth plan to make their presence felt in Istanbul.

Howell M; Tollemache M

UN statistics indicate that youth comprise up to 30% of the world's population. As almost one-third of humanity, youth deserve to actively participate in debates which will influence the future of their world. Accordingly, a large group of youth has been working with the Habitat II Secretariat, governments, and nongovernmental organizations to create channels for youth participation and involvement in Habitat II. Youth can also bring a great deal more to the Habitat process than just sheer numbers, both now and in the future. Their energy, commitment, and ability to do much with few resources can bring vitality to the process of creating and implementing the Habitat Agenda and Global Plan of Action. Youth bring unique perspectives which need to be taken into account. The key youth issues in need of action of Habitat II include sustainable approaches to the environment, including education; children and adolescents living in poverty; the provision of adequate shelter; employment opportunities; and access to resources, especially for rural youth. A lack of access among adolescents to essential resources such as shelter, education, and employment can prevent youth from developing into contributing members of society. Youth participants at the Istanbul conference are expected to make a commitment to taking responsibility for their own development, fostering youth awareness, and becoming involved in the implementation of Habitat II.

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