Creating a Sustainable Future: Empowering Youth with Better Job Opportunities


In July 2012, Member States, policy-makers, civil society organizations, representatives of academia and the private sector will meet at UN Headquarters in New York during the high-level segment of the substantive session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to address the challenge of increasing productive capacity and promoting employment and decent work.

As a contribution to the ECOSOC high-level segment, the United Nations Academic Impact and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs organized on 4 May a conference at UN Headquarters on “Creating a Sustainable Future: Empowering Youth with Better Job Opportunities,” which was attended by some 300 youth representatives, mostly from UNAI-affiliated universities. Youth representatives from all corners of the globe were able to participate via video link.

The Youth Forum took the format of interactive dialogue sessions entitled “Training and Education to Facilitate Access to Job Market” and “Promoting Youth Employment – Creating Jobs for a More Sustainable Future,” tailored to accommodate lively discussions in which youth themselves were encouraged to freely participate. The outcome of the meeting will be shared with Member States at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development-Rio+20, to take place in Brazil, in June 2012, and also during the ECOSOC

CUNY BA students attended the conference. Our program was represented by Josephine Djonovic, Joann Ruiz, Kerry Sinclair-Williams, Dexter Curbin, Thierno Diallo, and Hunter College student, Lukasz Sowinski. The group worked diligently and was well prepared for the discussion. During the sessions, they were able to network and exchange ideas with like-minded students at a UN forum.

CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies (CUNY BA) is a university-wide individualized bachelor’s degree where students work one-on-one with faculty. The degree is for self-directed, academically strong students who have well-formulated academic and career goals. Since its inception in 1971, 7,000 students have earned their degrees through this innovative program. See