As European delegates for the World Youth Alliance that represents 1 million young people worldwide, we would like to reaffirm the family as the fundamental unit of society and its role in educating adolescents and young people.
We have noted that discussions have resided predominantly in the areas sexuality and health. Sexual education is just one part of a more rounded, holistic education that should respond to the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of the young people.
We believe that the family is best placed to educate adolescents and young people, taking into account all of their needs. It is from within the family that young people are taught how to be responsible, to commit and to relate to one another and to build their social and employability skills as they progress on the path to adulthood. We therefore ask for a greater focus of the role of the family in supporting the attainment of these needs and skills.
We believe that education flourishes first and foremost in an environment that nurtures the family. We therefore ask the Commission to recognize the role of the family in education and consider the necessary mechanisms required to empower parents and young people to work in collaboration to support young people to achieve their full potential.
Suzy (London, England; age 27) and Caroline (Brussels, Belgium; age 25)
“Family is the most basic unit of society and the place where free and responsible citizens are best formed. In order to develop free and just societies, the family must be cultivated and protected in culture and law.”
It is within the family that the person first acknowledges his or her own dignity and potential. It is the role of the parents in particular to support the young person in his or her growth towards the fulfillment of that potential, by ensuring the person´s spiritual, mental, physical and emotional development.
It is through family that the person experiences the first type of social interaction; therefore it is where the young person learns the meaning of true freedom by understanding the gift of self and by living in solidarity. Thus it is the role of the family to form the basis for responsible citizenship by teaching the young person to contribute toward the well-being of society. We believe that to ensure today´s and future generations´ well-being, particular attention should be given to the protection of the family. The outcome document of the 45th session of the Commission on Population and Development should emphasize the importance of family as the central institution for the formation of the person, and so, the central institution for the development of a sustainable society.
As a young delegate from Mexico, together with the more than one million young members of the World Youth Alliance, I want to see the Commission focus on the role of the parents to ensure the development of young persons and on the protection of the family as the main unit of society.
Jessica (Mexico City, Mexico; Age 26)
On 25 April 2012, the World Youth Alliance hosted a live chat via Twitter on
Youth Employment: How to Unleash the Potential. Young people from around the world joined the conversation to discuss the real needs of young people. Here’s what some of them had to say:
“Youth Development means to prepare young people to live a full and active life: Self, Family, Spiritual, Work, Society etc.”
“Education is a cornerstone for employment. The greatest need in emerging markets is for qualified & motivated mid-management.”
“Don’t see work as a “chore.” See it as something to take pride in. doing a good job is a way to express your dignity.”
“Comprehensive sexual education does not constitute adequate training for achieving employment access”
“It starts with education, but there also needs to be room for educated people to make use of what they’ve learned”
“90% of employees in prosperous countries work for small and medium enterprises, yet they are missing in emerging markets. Make starting new companies easier”
“Anything that doesn’t impede competition is a good idea.”
“Need to involve men and boys in efforts to fight gender-based discrimination and violence.”