The commitments are designed to address pressing challenges faced by adolescents and young people including digitalization, urbanization, and climate change and to drive collaboration ahead of the Global Forum for Adolescents in October.
Ten global players have joined Fondation Botnar in their call to action to address the unique challenges and opportunities faced by more than 1.8 billion adolescents and young people who live in a world dramatically different from previous generations. The adolescent already represents a third of the world, yet they are being left out of discussions and decision-making around issues such as digitalization, urbanization, mobility, and climate change, and are increasingly disconnected from the generation in charge.
Today, these transformations have introduced significant challenges, including an increased risk of mental health issues, exposure to violence, and disparities in access to essential resources, which need to be urgently addressed.
Commenting from the event, Stefan Germann, CEO of Fondation Botnar, said: “The adolescents of today are the first generation to have grown up in a digital world and with an acute consciousness of the transformations our world is facing. If we don’t engage them now, we are wasting an opportunity to create a world that is fit for the future. This is a unique opportunity for actors from various sectors to unite in a common mission and deliver a strong action plan at the upcoming Global Forum for Adolescents in October 2023.”
Despite progress made over the past decades in poverty reduction, mortality rates, and education access, adolescents’ health and wellbeing continue to be underserved and unequal. Adolescents have often been a “missing population” in global health priorities, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The private sector and philanthropic players present at the event have joined Fondation Botnar, who already committed USD 45 million to enhance adolescent health and wellbeing, through initiatives such as making cities safe for adolescents, fostering safe digital environments, and improving mental health and wellbeing. Other organizations making commitments include:
- FIA Foundation
- UNICEF & Generation Unlimited
- Surgo Health, Pivotal Ventures, & MTV Entertainment Studios
With over five years of strategic investment, Fondation Botnar has established a solid position and technical expertise in these areas, working closely with partners at global and country levels and collaborating with young people to create positive and lasting change in communities.
Today, Fondation Botnar is inviting all actors to build on these initial commitments and continue the work beyond New York. The Global Forum for Adolescents, hosted by PMNCH (The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health) on 11-12 October, will be a critical opportunity to mobilize more commitment to adolescent health and well-being.
Helen Clark, Board Chair of the PMNCH added: “What is needed is multisectoral action. UNGA 78 is a historic chance for leaders to prioritize health and well-being. Building on this momentum, we are looking forward to hosting the Global Forum for Adolescents in October to bring together youth and adolescents, advocates, and global decision-makers to take action and strengthen financing and policy commitments to this important issue.”