UN Launches 2030 Strategy and Global Partnership Initiative for Youth

24 September: A day before the opening of the 73rd UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) high-level General Debate, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres unveiled Youth 2030, a strategy reflecting the UN’s new commitment to working with and for young people. Officials also launched Generation Unlimited, a global multi-stakeholder partnership initiated by the UN Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) to “ensure that every young person is in education, learning, training or employment by 2030.”

The strategy ‘Youth 2030: Working With and For Young People’ originates from a decision of Secretary-General Guterres, who made it a priority to reset the UN system’s focus on youth and reorient and mainstream the organization’s activities towards youth. He tasked his Envoy on Youth, in conjunction with the UN system and youth themselves, to lead the development of the strategy.

Youth 2030 will act as an umbrella framework to guide the UN across its three pillars (peace and security, human rights and sustainable development) in all contexts. It seeks to “significantly strengthen” the UN’s capacity to engage young people and benefit from their views, insights and ideas, and to ensure that UN’s work on youth issues is pursued in a “coordinated, coherent and holistic manner.” It comprises five priorities: i) amplify youth voices for the promotion of a peaceful, just and sustainable world (engagement, participation and advocacy); ii) support young people’s greater access to quality education and health services; iii) support young people’s greater access to decent work and productive employment; iv) protect and promote the rights of young people and support their civic and political engagement; and v) support young people as catalysts for peace and security and humanitarian action.

Per the strategy, its governance arrangements will be rooted in existing global, regional and national mechanisms, and guided by a High-Level Steering Committee chaired by the Envoy on Youth. The Committee will also be composed of: the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (IANYD) co-chairs; a select number of biennially rotating UN entities; and two biennially rotating representatives of a global youth-led platform or organization. The Steering Committee will seek to ensure alignment with other UN processes and reforms, will identify a suitable arrangement for its interactions with the UN Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), and will discuss annual reports on the strategy’s implementation, which will be prepared by the Secretary- General’s Envoy on Youth with input from the IANYD. These reports will be submitted to the UNSDG and the UN Secretary-General’s Executive Committee.

Generation Unlimited (or “Gen-U”) seeks to contribute to the delivery of Youth 2030 by creating synergies between partners to mobilize support and maximize results. It will complement and build on existing programmes that support adolescents and young people. The partnership explores co-creating innovative solutions, brokering support, mentoring and funding. It focuses on three key challenges, namely: access to secondary age education; acquisition of employability skills; and empowerment, especially of girls. It brings together the private sector, governments, international and local organizations, and young people, and is co-chaired by Secretary-General Guterres and Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda.

Youth 2030 and Generation Unlimited were launched during an event co-hosted by the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore on 24 September 2018, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. Guterres told participants that: the world is home to 1.8 billion young people, the largest generation in history; more than one fifth of young people are not in employment, education or training; one in four is affected by violence or armed conflict in some way; and millions of girls become mothers while they are still children. He said the Youth 2030 strategy should help the UN become a leader in working with young people, and should spur new partnerships, but “bold new approaches” will be required to deliver on it.

María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd UNGA, said through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UNGA recognized youth as agents of change for the first time. She added that youth are “amongst our best educated, most innovative, and most creative resources” when it comes to addressing health care solutions or education or economic opportunities.

Fore called on governments, businesses, foundations, academia, non-profits, communities and innovators to help get every young person in school, training or age-appropriate employment by 2030 – the aim of Generation Unlimited – and to develop concrete plans to expand the funding base needed to reach more young people, in more communities and countries.

Jim Yong Kim, World Bank President, remarked that the nature of work is changing very quickly, and many countries are not prepared for a future of work, which is more digitally demanding. Paul Kagame remarked that the youth strategy is a practical framework and is also aligned with the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063. Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, said access to education is helping the “growth of democracy,” and that Ghana has adopted a Free Senior High School (HSH) policy. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, said progress for youth is progress for all humanity, and his country offers free primary and secondary education. He also noted that education without work opportunity is not a solution.

The Bangtan Boys (BTS), a South Korean music group, noted that together with UNICEF, they launched the Love Myself Campaign to address violence toward children and teens around the world. Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, outlined various partnerships between Microsoft and UN entities, including the creation of a new learning platform with UNICEF, a project with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to provide literacy to refugees, and an initiative with the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the future of work.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and board member of Generation Unlimited, said investing in the younger generation is an investment for the future, but also for today. She announced a new Africa-Europe Alliance that will increase support for scholarships and exchange programmes with the goal of over 100,000 students benefitting from its support (ERASMUS+ programme) in the next ten years. [UN Youth Strategy: Youth 2030 – Working With and For Young People] [Youth 2030 webpage] [UN blog on Youth 2030] [Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth website] [Generation Unlimited platform] [UNICEF announcement of Generation Unlimited partnership] [Launch event details] [Event concept Note] [UN Secretary-General’s statement] [UNGA President’s statement] [UNICEF Executive Director’s statement] [Love Myself Campaign website] [SDG Knowledge Hub sources]

RCRA Uganda taking part in the consultative meeting between the Uganda National PHE Network and Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) Secretariat in Kampala






RCRA’s Executive Director Jostas Mwebembezi participating in a two-day consultative meeting between the Uganda National PHE Network and Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) Secretariat on mainstreaming the PHE approach into National Health and Environment Policies, held at Statistics House Kampala.



Launching the ” Health of People and Environment (HoPE III) project” in Kasese ( Maliba and Hima Town Council)

Funding by Margaret A. Cargill Foundation through Pathfinder International US

Project summary

Project goal: Improved environmental management and sustainable development of the Kasese District and improved wellbeing of its vulnerable populations

Outcomes 1: Improved uptake of essential sexual and reproductive and maternal, newborn, and child health services, and integrated HIV and malaria services, among populations living in Kasese district project sites by Jan 2020

Outcomes 2: Increased community capacity to sustainably manage natural resources to increase food security, improve livelihoods, and balance ecosystems and human health in HoPE-LVB project sites by Jan 2020.

Outcomes 3: Utilized the emerging PHE policy framework to support health systems strengthening and natural resources management, and scale up the HoPE-LVB model for PHE integration in LVB sites.

Content prepared by the Project Coordinator.

Scholarships to attend ICFP 2018 in Kigali

Attention all 18-25 year olds working in family planning! Win a chance to attend the International Conference on Family Planning 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda – November 10-15.

Submit a video application to get travel, accommodation, and conference fees covered. More details here:


Call for NGOs to apply for Consultative Status with the United Nations

Open Call for NGOs to apply for Consultative Status with the United Nations (Deadline: 1 June 2018)

NGOs interested in applying for ECOSOC consultative status should submit their application and required documents on or before the deadline of 1 June 2018. The following link provides background information, the benefits of consultative status and instructions for how to apply:


Announcing New Partnership with Margaret A.Cargill Foundation

Rwenzori Center for Research and Advocacy in Partnership with Pathfinder International with 2 year funding from Margaret A.Cargill Foundation, will implement an integrated Population, Health and Environment (PHE) Model in the two Sub-counties of Kasese District (Maliba and Hima).

RCRA Director to present an abstract at the Global Digital Health Forum 2017 in Washington DC

On December 6, 2017, Mr.Jostas Mwebembezi with support from Johns Hopkins University and Personal Connected Health Alliance, will present an abstract at the Global Digital Health Forum 2017 at JW Marriott Hotel in Washington DC.  read more


Back to School Campaign

The Back to school campaign program of RCRA is designed to help the vulnerable child get an equitable education; most children dropout of school because their caregivers cannot afford school fees, some are in school but lack basic necessities such as books, pens textbooks, shoes, bags among others. Through this, we provide back to school kits that include notebooks, school uniforms, bags, stationary, shoes, socks and sanitary needs.

No child ever wanted to sleep on street or dropout of school

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Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council

Rwenzori Center for Research and Advocacy has been granted  Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 2017- 2020.

”I am pleased to inform you that the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at its Coordination and management meeting of 25 July 2017 adopted the recommendation of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to grant special consultative status to your organization, Rwenzori Center for Research and Advocacy (RCPA). On behalf of all staff of the Non-Governmental Organizations Branch/OESC/DESA, please accept our heartfelt congratulations.” Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations

RCRA welcomes Fiona Duignan the Programme Coordinator at VMM International


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Today, August 2, 2017, RCRA Uganda hosted Fiona Duignan the Short Programme Coordinator at VMM International, Ireland.  Fiona will be at RCRA for three working days.