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Remarks by Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee at CCG Special Roundtable on International Young Professionals’ Development in China



The UN Resident Coordinator highlighted International Youth Day and stated that the timing of today’s roundtable by the Centre for China and Globalization (CCG) is significant because today, the world faces a great demographic dividend. During the early 1980s and 1990s, China reaped a similar demographic dividend by investing in education and empowering its young women and girls to ensure the leapfrog of the Chinese economy.

 

The RC discussed how China started at about 180 dollars per capita GDP in 1979, a similar median income found today in many parts of the African continent. For Africa to reap their demographic dividend, the RC outlined that the investments for young people in the same areas made by China will be necessary. With 1.8 billion young people worldwide in a population of about 7 billion, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has discussed the incredible and significant challenges they face. Not just the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to more young people getting out of school and lacking employment opportunities, but the deteriorating health of the planet, increasing inequalities, poverty, and gender disparities.

 

The RC stated that today’s initiative today is important because it puts the spotlight on the responsibility of policymakers in reaching out to the future of the world, young people. They will be the architects in redefining the climate emergency. They are fighting increasingly for gender equality and social justice. They are championing a more sustainable world, so we must ensure their inclusion, their participation and above all, their voices.

 

The RC went on to commend similar initiatives that are taking place, including this one, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the Decade of Action. He further highlighted UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s comment that we must ‘flip the orthodoxy’ to accelerate our efforts towards achieving the SDGs.

 

The RC commented positively on the highlighted letter of President Xi Jinping, who expressed his hope that young people at home and abroad will enhance mutual understanding, develop friendship, achieve mutual success, thus contributing to the building of a community with a shared future for humanity. In response, the RC stated that the United Nations system in China stands ready to support the Government of China and work with organizations such as CCG to forge partnerships that achieve this ambition.

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