As an official event associated with the 7th Asia-Pacific Urban Forum (APUF-7) in Penang,Malaysia, the Children & Youth Assembly at APUF-7 provides a unique regional platform forAsia-Pacific’s children and youth to articulate urban issues and solutions impacting their livesand communities. Being a gathering of diverse organizations and groups representingchildren and youth in discussions of urban agenda at the regional level, the Children & YouthAssembly offers a step towards strengthening constructive partnership with children andyouth as key stakeholders in issues facing Asia-Pacific cities.
In summary, the Children & Youth Assembly will be:
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Urbanization will continue to be Asia-Pacific’s engine ofeconomic growth and social transformation for decades to come, affecting many childrenand youth. The region is already home to the world’s largest urban population. whileincreasing rapidly, buoyed by migration and youth population rise. The latter phenomenonis known as youth bulge or demographic dividend. From spiked urbanization concentratedin megacities, Asia’s urbanization is moving towards broad-based patterns. New economicopportunities will increasingly arise in numerous small- and medium-sized cities, in additionto the region’s well-known megacities like Delhi, Jakarta, Karachi, Manila, and Shanghai.Asia’s urban future will impact places such as Foshan, Surabaya, and Surat, impactingnumerous communities and touching the lives of millions of more youth.
Globally, urbanization has propelled the world towards prosperity in the 21st century. Thereare more people under the age of 25 today than ever, totalling nearly three billion; 1.8 billionof that total are between the age of 12 and 24. These youth live increasingly in cities andtowns. The cities of the developing world account for over 90% of the world’s urban growth,and youth account for a large percentage of those inhabitants. It is estimated thatapproximately 60% of all urban dwellers will be under the age of 18 by 2030.
They can participate to enhance inclusive urbangovernance, ensure protection of urban environment, and lead innovative andentrepreneurial approaches in doing so. Young women and men from the region care deeplyabout good education and jobs. Moreover, they are keen to engage in governance processes.According to the United Nations My World Survey that collected over 7 million responsesworldwide on Post-2015 development goals, youth aged 16-30 from Asia and Oceania votedfor “a good education” as the highest priority. At the same time, “an honest and responsivegovernment” came in second with over 1 million votes.