AU Summit Adopts Decisions on Youth Employment, Climate Change and UNCSD

1 July 2011: The 17th session of the African Union (AU) Summit has adopted a decision on youth employment and other measures to support the Summit's theme "Youth empowerment for sustainable development," as well as decisions to prepare for the upcoming 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UNFCCC and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). The 17th African Union Summit convened from 23 June-1 July 2011, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

The decision on youth empowerment for sustainable development commits AU members to create safe, decent and competitive employment opportunities by accelerating implementation of  the African Youth Decade Plan of Action (2009-2018) and the 2004 Ouagadougou Plan of Action on Employment Promotion and Poverty Alleviation. Other measures include a Vocational Education and Training Framework and providing adequate financial resources, including funding for the Pan African Youth Union.

In the Malabo Declaration on Creating Employment for Accelerating Youth Development and Empowerment, States further commit to, among other actions: reduce youth and women unemployment by at least 2% annually over the next five years; maintain, extend and harmonize labor market information systems; increase responsiveness of education and training systems; accelerate expansion of social protection coverage; and develop a comprehensive youth employment pact in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Regional Economic Commissions.

On climate change, the Summit urges the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) to convene a meeting to consider the African Common Position on Climate Change, once it has been endorsed by the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) at its extra-ordinary session to be held in September 2011. In addition, AU members are urged concentrate on completing negotiations on climate finance.

On preparations for Rio+20, the Assembly urges members to participate in the preparatory meetings and invites them to develop a common African position, which should be represented by a single spokesperson. [17th AU Summit Website] [Decisions Adopted] [Message by African Youth] [Message by UN Deputy Secretary Migiro]