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MPs from IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians at the ECOSOC Youth Forum

Young MPs at the ECOSOC Youth Forum. © Rania Elwany, MP from Egypt and Member of IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians

The contribution of young people and their participation in decision-making is necessary if we are to eradicate poverty. That was one of the key points made by members of the IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians at the United Nations ECOSOC Global Youth Forum, held this year on The role of youth in poverty eradication and promoting prosperity in a changing world.

The young MPs participated actively in the Forum and led debates on the crucial role played by parliaments in eliminating poverty and addressing youth-specific needs and interests.

Using data from IPU’s report on 2016 Youth participation in national parliaments, which shows that less than two per cent of world parliamentarians are under 30 years old, MPs called for enhanced youth representation and participation in parliament, including through the adoption of youth quotas and opening up political deliberations to young people. 

“Young women and men face significant obstacles to achieving prosperous lives, such as unemployment, inequality, discrimination and lack of access to quality education,” said Saeed Alremeithi, President of the IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians. “Through the IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians, we have sounded the alarm on the need for greater investment in youth, as well as the need for greater inclusivity of youth in political processes to help spur this effort.” 

The ECOSOC Forum, held in New York on 30-31 January, was also an opportunity for young MPs to advocate the lowering of eligibility ages to run for parliament through the Not Too Young to Run campaign led by the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), IPU, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) and the European Youth Forum.