“Change lies in your hands, so join forces with the youth for a future we can look forward to.“
Youth voices rang loud and clear in the Plenary of the 65th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on 17 March 2022. Jointly created by the 74 aspiring youth from 43 countries, the Youth Statement 2022 urged Member States to continue to invest in evidence-based prevention and to more actively engage with youth during prevention efforts.
Youth engagement is not only crucial in reinforcing the message and achieving better outreach. Youth participants of 2022 also asserted that “youth engagement inspires a sense of empowerment and responsibility in young people and supports the development of skills that promote healthy decision-making.” Thus, while meaningful youth participation in prevention work is valuable for the overall goal of the project or initiative, it also provides the opportunity for the youth to develop themselves and grow from the experience. We highly encourage policymakers, decision-makers, and stakeholders to refer to the Handbook on Youth Participation in Drug Prevention Work to identify ways to more actively involve and engage with youth in their respective communities.
Welcoming the highest number of youths that we ever had in the Youth Forum and giving them the floor to speak out their voice for health promotion would not have been possible without the support from Permanent Missions. The continuing increase in interest of the Youth Forum and subsequent nominations demonstrates growing support for youth, as well as for their opportunity to learn, grow and be empowered. UNODC would like to take this opportunity to thank Permanent Missions that have taken the initiative to identify the aspiring youths!
For all youth out there following the Youth Initiative social media(Twitter, Facebook and Instagram), did we catch your interest in becoming part of the youth community? If you are passionate and active in substance use prevention and health-promotion activities in your community and would like to be part of the Youth Forum 2023, please start reaching out to relevant government organizations, schools, or civil societies that may be associated with the nomination process of your country! The nomination process for the Youth Forum 2023 will begin in the summer of 2022.
Click here to read the Youth Statement 2022.
Made possible with the support of the Russian Federation and the Sovereign Order of Malta