Culture has the power to transform entire societies, strengthen local communities and forge a sense of identity and belonging for people of all ages. As a vector for youth development and civic engagement, culture plays an essential role in promoting sustainable social and economic development for future generations. Youth can act as a bridge between cultures and serve as key agents in promoting peace and intercultural understanding.
Youth comprise 18% of the world’s population. Representing a significant segment of the community, young people:
• Can contribute to local development and prosperity.
• Can be a bridge between cultures and between tradition and modernity.
• Have the interest, energy and passion to address issues and concerns, such as heritage management, sustainable tourism, local development and community involvement.
• Have affinity for information and communication technologies to network and transcend geographical boundaries.
• Are in the position to act as potent agents of positive social change that will yield greater economic and social well-being in the perspective of sustainable development for generations to come.
At the same time, young women and men are particularly affected by development challenges at all levels, frequently faced with disproportionately high levels of unemployment, insufficient access to education and professional training, intolerance and exclusion, among others. This is all the more important in cities where increased urbanization has further accentuated these challenges for young people.