RELEASE: Nobel Laureate Tawakkol Karman and CAP Chair John Podesta Call for Youth Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda

Washington, D.C. — Today, as youth activists from around the world gather at the U.N. headquarters in New York to celebrate International Youth Day, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Karman and Center for American Progress Chair John Podesta—both of whom served on the U.N. High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda—released a letter they sent earlier this month to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon advocating for the creation of a Youth High-Level Panel to help inform the post-2015 process.

“It will fall to today’s youth to build the more equitable, just, sustainable, and peaceful world the High-Level Panel envisions in its report,” Podesta said. “We need to welcome young people into the process of creating the post-2015 development agenda and take their perspective seriously.”

The idea was raised during a Google+ Hangout held by Podesta and Karman last month. While the High-Level Panel process involved hundreds of consultations with youth leaders and activists around the world, creating a formal Youth High-Level Panel would provide another avenue for young people to get involved in crafting an ambitious global agenda to follow the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals at the end of 2015.

“I want to congratulate the youth during their International Youth Day. The youth are today’s and tomorrow’s agents of change. Their contributions, inclusion, and participation at all levels of processes are crucial in order for us to make meaningful change in our world,” said Karman. “Youth will play an important role in engaging and educating their fellow and global citizens about the post-2015 development agenda, and to make it a success for the betterment of our world.”

Read Podesta and Karman’s letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Learn more about CAP’s work on the post-2015 development agenda.

To speak to an expert on this topic, contact Chelsea Kiene at or 202.478.5328.