Catalysing partnerships on youth employment for the SDGs

NEW YORK - Over 66 million young women and men are unemployed. Nearly 145 million youth are working, yet living in poverty. Access to decent work and productive employment for young people remain at the centre of national priorities of policy makers and citizens around the world. The  2030  Agenda  for  Sustainable  Development  provides  an  immense  opportunity  to work collaboratively in tackling the youth employment challenge.

With this premise, the annual global Partnership Exchange on 13 July 2018 in the margins of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) provided a platform to discuss the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships in supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Following the launch of a guidebook on Maximizing the impact of partnerships for the SDGs, Dr. Darian Stibbe, Executive Director of The Partnering Initiative, moderated a panel discussion on challenges and success factors for building effective country level action platforms to catalyze partnerships for the SDGs.

“Today we have the largest generation of young people ever. The Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth works to ensure that young people can have better access to decent jobs and productive employment,” said Ms Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard, Director of Partnerships and Field Support, ILO.

Ms Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard, ILO Director of Partnerships and Field Support presented the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth and its success factors. With the endorsement of the UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination, Decent Jobs for Youth has emerged as the overarching and inclusive alliance to scale up coordinated country-level action and impact on youth employment in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

With 22 entities of the UN system at its nucleus, Decent Jobs for Youth brings together an alliance of committed partners from governments, social partners, youth organizations, private sector, and beyond, sharing knowledge and leveraging resources across thematic priorities from digital skills to green jobs for youth, supporting youth in the rural economy and in fragile situations.

Creating added value by and for every partner within the alliance was critical for an effective partnership, yet a joint vision and strategy was needed to guide those efforts. “The UN Youth Strategy provides a clear vision and priorities, including on decent work, as the UN system steps up its work with and for young people,” Ms Vejs-Kjeldgaard added.

The strategic fit of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth within the UN Youth Strategy and its shared ‘code of conduct’ of 15 guiding principles were critical to harmonize and to catalyze partnerships to promote coordinated action on youth employment at country-level that leverages existing knowledge and good practices.

In concluding the session, Ms Vejs-Kjeldgaard emphasized the importance of national ownership and accountability for the SDGs, enabling governments to support young people in having better access to decent jobs and productive employment.


  • International Labour Organization (ILO)

  • United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)

New York , United States of America

Published Date

13 July 2018