Children & Youth Assembly

Chilldren & Youth Assembly

Pre Forum – Monday, 14 October 2019
08:00 - 17:30
Function Room 10
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Nora Steurer
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Lead Organization
Partner Organizer(s)
Lead Organizer(s)

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:

  • Held in Penang, Malaysia between 13-14 October 2019, back-to-back with APUF-7, which will take place during 15-17 October 2019;
  • Organized by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat),United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP), Urbanice Malaysia under the Ministry of Housing and Local Governmentand UN Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY);
  • Hosted by the Penang Island City Council, and supported by multi-stakeholderpartners including youth organizations, civil society, UN agencies, knowledgeinstitutions, international organizations, and private sector partners;
  • 1.5 days of highly interactive program consisting of plenary sessions, 9 to 12 parallelsessions of thematic debates on urban issues and solutions impacting the youngpeople, networking, optional workshops and side events;
  • For up to 300 youth participants from Malaysia and Asia-Pacific countries withbalanced representation, and also open to APUF-7 attendees;
  • This document outlines the key information on the objectives, background, contents, targetparticipants, and partners and support for the proposed Children & Youth Assembly.

Please download the attachment below to view the full agenda

Objectives of the Session

The Children & Youth Assembly seeks to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To provide a space for children and youth to engage in meaningful exchangeson topics related to sustainable urban development;
  2. To articulate priority issues and strategies for further strengthening childrenand youth participation in governance in Asia-Pacific cities;
  3. To strengthen the voices of Asia-Pacific children and youth in regional andglobal urban policy dialogues by linkages with APUF-7, the implementation ofthe New Urban Agenda, and other regional processes.
  4. To facilitate capacity building for children and youth on topics related tosustainable and inclusive urban development

Introduction of the Topic

Young people in Asia-Pacific represent more than half of global youth population, and increasingly dwell in cities.

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.

Youth and children should be empowered as stakeholders, caretakers, and leaders for Asia-Pacific’s sustainable urban development.

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.

Guiding Questions

Save the date!
Join us at the seventh session of the Asia-Pacific Urban Forum (APUF7) in Penang, Malaysia from 15 to 17 October 2019