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As the slogan states “In the service of youth since 1949”, the journey of World Assembly of Youth (WAY) has been significantly profound in the empowerment, advancement and transformation of youth worldwide. In the past 65 years, WAY has tackled and discussed pertinent youth issues and assisted in the establishment of youth related policies through the organised programmes, activities and events at different levels. These milestone accomplishments were made possible by the collaboration and partnership with various WAY Member Organisations, UN Agencies, Civil Societies, International Organisations and Institutions, Ministries responsible for youth, Governmental Organizations and many more.

The expedition for the Millennium Plan of Action (MPA) was inaugurated in the year 2000, with the broad theme: “Towards A Global Community”. Over the years, many action plans have been enacted followed by very many success stories for the equal unification of youth around the world. The theme for the Third Millennium Plan of Action was “The Catalyst for Transformation and Improvement” which saw various action plans listed to catalyse transformation and bring about improvement in various factors affecting the youth.

WAY has been using The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as a guideline to address and tackle youth issues. As the international community strives to achieve MDGs, its progress is certainly far from meeting the set goals. Despite all the past achievements, there is still much to be desired, as the issues of sustainability hangs on a balance. Due to the fluctuating inadequacy of socioeconomic factors, the young people live in a very different and challenging world. Therefore, realising the challenges that lies ahead, it is essential to formulate a substantial Post-2015 Development Agenda including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), emphasising on the role that youth should play in order to achieve a sustainable world.

In this peculiar time, WAY sees a greater need for sustainability even as the drive, to develop and empower the community, continues. With that in mind, WAY has chosen “The Role of Youth on Sustainable Development” as the theme for the Fourth Millennium Plan of Action and is designed to be consistent with the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Its focus will be on the current issues that affect young people around the world. Youth role on sustainable development is very crucial. Youth and youth leaders should be pivotal players in tackling global development issues and play a key role in the decision making processes, at all levels.

At the present, various stakeholders across the globe are developing and revising youth strategies and policies, hence there is a need for the youth and relevant stakeholders to work together and make the necessary changes in the following issues: Equitable Quality Education; Environmental Sustainability; Sustainable Economic Growth and Employment; Health and Well-being; Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security; Gender Equality; Peace and Inclusive Society; Poverty Eradication; Global Partnership; and Youth Participation in Decision Making Process. This Fourth Millennium Plan of Action would act as a guideline for both youth and youth leaders to be decision makers and agents of change towards a better and sustainable world.



The following are the 10 (ten) areas set by the World Assembly of Youth for the Fourth Millennium Plan of Action:



• Ensure all youth acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development and other youth issues.

• Increase by 30% the number of youth who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.

•  Ensure that all youth, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.

• Foster synergy and strengthen the efforts of both, the public and private sectors in addressing youth and education issues.

• Increase by 30% the supply of qualified teachers, trainers, facilitators and educational facilities.

In our world today:
•    11% of the world’s youth (15-24 years old) are non-literate.
•  By 2015, youth non-literacy rates are projected to fall to 8% for the world and to 9% in developing countries as a whole. However, youth non-literacy rates in sub-Saharan Africa are projected to decline only slightly, lingering at 24%.
•  Between 1994 and 2008, the number of non-literate youth (15-24 years) declined from almost 170 million to 130 million, and is projected to fall to 99 million by 2015.

•    Ensure youth involvement in conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems.
•    Encourage all members to promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, wetlands, mountains and dry lands.
•   Encourage young people to recycle and avoid unsustainable consumptions, including overconsumption.
•   Request all members to implement environmental and sustainability curriculum at all levels of educations.
•    Request all youth and youth leaders to be proactive in the development, implementation and evaluation of environment and sustainability policies.

In our world today:
•    48% of developing countries are on track to hit the drinkable water target.
•    58% increase in the number of protected areas since 1990.
•    2.5 billion people still lack access to improved sanitation.

•    Ensure full and productive employment and decent work for all young men and women.
•    Decrease by 15 % the unemployment rates among youth, globally.
• Encourage all members to promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, apprenticeship, creativity and innovation.
•   Decrease by 30% the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET).
•   Promote labour rights and safe and secure working environments of all workers, including refugees, migrants, minorities, people with disabilities, and those in precarious employment.

In our world today:
•  There are currently 190 million people unemployed and more than 500 million will be looking for jobs over the next 10 years.
•  In Sub-Saharan Africa, paid employment opportunities are scarce and the vulnerable employment rate, at 77.4 % in 2013, remained the highest of all regions.
•    In South-East Asia and the Pacific, employment expanded by 1.6 % in 2013 and is projected to outpace growth in the working age population in the coming years.

•  Ensure the rights to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and wellbeing among youth.
•  Decrease by 20% of the death rate resulting from HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, malaria, tuberculosis, tropical and water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.
•   Encourage all members to organise health promoting programmes in their communities.
• Decrease by 30% pre-mature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and wellbeing among youth.
•  Encourage all members to strengthen the capacity of their countries for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks.

In our world today:
•  More than 75% of all deaths are caused by one of four chronic diseases: cancer, heart disease, diabetes and respiratory disease.
•   Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five - 3.1 million children each year. That is 8,500 children per day.
•  Around 20% of the world's children and adolescents have mental disorders or problems.


•   Decrease hunger by 30% and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situation including, youth, to safe nutritious and sufficient food.

•  Eradicate all forms of malnutrition and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women.

•  Ensure that youth and youth leaders play their role in combating hunger and promoting healthy lifestyle.

•  Encourage members to educate young people with the right skills to implement resilient agricultural practices to eradicate hunger in their communities.


In our world today:

•    Every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger-related diseases.

•    50 % of hungry people are farming families.

•    Poor people spend between 50 - 80 % of their income on food.


• Encourage all stakeholders to adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all young women, at all levels.

•   Enhance the use of enabling technologies, in particular ICT, to empower young women.

• Encourage all members to undertake reforms to give young women equal rights to economic resources, as well as to ownership and control over the other forms of property, financial services, inheritance, and natural resources.

•   Decrease by 20% gender disparity in the work force and educational institutions.

•  Eliminate all forms of violence against all young women in public and private spheres, including human and drug trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.


In our world today:

•    Girls’ primary school completion rates are below 50 % in most poor countries.

•    64% of illiterate adults are women.

•    Women work 2/3 of the world’s hours yet earn 1/10 of the world’s income.


• Decrease by 50% all forms of violence and related death rates among young people everywhere.

• Eradicate abuse exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against young people.

• Encourage all members to promote the rule of law at their countries and ensure equal access to justice for all.

• Create awareness programmes, conferences and publications on dangers faced by young people in conflict zone areas.

•  Ensure that youth and youth leaders play their role to avoid being coerced in conflicts


In our world today:

•    1.5 billion people live in countries affected by violent conflict.

•    1/4 of people in the world, more than 1.5 billion, live in fragile and conflict-affected areas.

•    By 2015, 1/2 of the world’s people living on less than USD 1.25 a day, will be in fragile states.


•  Decrease by 30% the number of young people living in extreme poverty conditions.

• Ensure that young men and women have equal rights to economic resources as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over properties and financial services.

• Encourage all members to organise programmes that shall equip young people with the right skills and knowledge to eradicate poverty at their communities.

• Decrease by 50% the proportion of young men and women living in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure to economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters.

• Ensure the engagement of those living in marginalised areas with institutional shift and new partnership that secure increase representation of young people living in poverty to plan, implement and monitor development programmes that affect their lives.


In our world today:

•  22,000 children die each day due to conditions of poverty.

• At least 80% of humanity live on less than USD 10.00 per day.

• The poorest 40% of the world’s population accounts for 5 % of global income. The richest 20 % accounts for 3/4 of world income..


• Encourage all members to form partnership, share resources and knowledge with all stakeholders in order to foster their approach in tackling youth issues.

•  Provide opportunities for young people involvement on the decision making process to matters pertaining to global partnership for development.

•  Encourage all members, in developed countries, to create decent and productive jobs for youth everywhere.

• Encourage all stakeholders to strengthen domestic resource mobilisation, including through international support to developing member countries to improve domestic capacity, for tax and other revenue collection.

• Encourage all members to deploy financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources.


In our world today:

• In all regions, by the age of 24, young women’s labour force participation trails young men’s. • A total of 83 % of least developed country exports penetrate into developed countries duty-free.•  30 % of the world’s youth are digital novices, active online for at least five years.


•  Achieve the inclusive, participatory and representative decision making at all levels and proactively improve the legal enabling environment for all young people.

•  Request all members to value and accommodate the inputs and ideas brought forward by the young people.

•   Encourage all stakeholders to involve young people in the decision making processes and also allow them to be part of the planning, monitoring, implementation and evaluation of national policies.

•  Encourage all members to organise innovative programmes that would enhance the right knowledge and skills acquired by youth for developing policies on youth related issues.

•  Increase participation of young people in community services and encourage voluntary work in the community development.


In our world today:

•   1.65% of parliamentarians around the world are in their 20s and 11.87 % are in their 30s.

•  In the area of political participation, in 1/3 of countries, eligibility for national parliament starts at 25 years old or older.

•  Young people between the ages of 15 and 25, constitute 1/5 of the world’s population, and yet they have limited influence in national political institutions.



WAY believes that youth and youth leaders have a voice and their contributions towards programmes and policies, both locally and globally, are meaningful. As an international coordinating body of national youth councils and youth organisations, WAY takes into consideration the challenges and difficulties that young people, throughout the world, faces every day. Hence, the need for proper organisation, communication, hard work, group effort and commitment are the substantial required components to address young people issues and make WAY’s Fourth Millennium Plan of Action to succeed.

All programmes, activities, projects, campaigns, conferences, seminars, dialogues and trainings would require the involvement of all WAY members and ensure that the Fourth Millennium Plan of Action meets its desired goals by 2019. The following programmes and activities would be organised by WAY between 2015 and 2019.

•  Create national partnerships between national youth councils and local governments, private sectors, media, and UN Agencies.
•   Publish the annual National Youth Reports on the progress of WAY’s Fourth Millennium Plan of Action.
•  Involve the Ministries responsible for youth in the implementation of WAY’s Fourth Millennium Plan of Action.
•   Set up national youth committees to monitor the progress and the implementation of WAY’s Fourth Millennium Plan of Action.
•  Organise events to bring awareness among young people concerning WAY’s Fourth Millennium Plan of Action.
• Organise annual national dialogues between youth and policymakers on the implementation of WAY’s Fourth Millennium Plan of Action.


• Create partnership between national youth councils at the same region on implementation of WAY’s Fourth Millennium Plan of Action.
•    Initiate regional partnership with UN Agencies and other multilateral organisations.
•  Coordinate regional responses to challenges posed by WAY’s Fourth Millennium Plan of Action.
•   Organise regional joint events with regional organisations based on the issues mentioned on WAY’s Fourth Millennium Plan of Action.
•  Create publications on the progress of WAY’s Fourth Millennium Plan of Action in the region.
•    Develop peer support network among the member countries in each region.


•    Organise annual events for the national youth councils and other stakeholders on the issues mentioned on WAY’s Fourth Millennium Plan of Action.
•    Participate in UN and international meetings on the issues mentioned on WAY’s Fourth Millennium Plan of Action.
•    Create publications and training manuals on youth and WAY’s Fourth Millennium Plan of Action.
•    Publish quarterly international reports on youth and issues mentioned on WAY’s Fourth Millennium Plan of Action.
•    Partner with UN Agencies and other multilateral organsiations on issues mentioned on WAY’s Fourth Millennium Plan of Action.

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