United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

United States of America (Part 2)

CSD-13: Interactive Discussion on Human Settlements
Remarks by Ronald Carlson, United States Agency for International Development
April 12, 2005
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Before I begin, I first want to address the issue that some have raised regarding re-opening the
internationally agreed target in the Millennium Declaration related to improving the lives of slum
dwellers. This issue was raised at last week?s UN-HABITAT Governing Council and delegates
agreed not to re-open this target. We would like to stand by and reinforce that decision. Our
critical task here is to focus on implementation and we cannot afford to spend valuable time reopening
previously agreed text.
Returning to this afternoon?s topic: In the matrix from the Intergovernmental Preparatory
Meeting, the Chairman has set forth a robust set of practical measures that can be taken to create
employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for women and youth.
In particular, on page 14, the Chairman highlighted the need to improve the access of young
people to decent jobs through education and vocational training.
The two programs cited in the ?examples? column of the matrix ? the Alliance for African
Youth Employment and the Entra 21 Alliance ? are key partnerships aimed at meeting this
These initiatives are prime examples of the network approach we have emphasized during this
CSD cycle. As we mentioned earlier, future efforts to address our sustainable development
challenges are likely to be increasingly spread out, increasingly specialized, and increasingly
local. Our challenge here is to try to find a way to help all those efforts, all those projects, work
towards the same goals.
The two alliances I just mentioned are working to deliver results. In Latin America, Entra 21
is training thousands of young people in essential information technology skills. In South Africa,
Malawi, Mozambique, and Rwanda, the Alliance for African Youth Employment is achieving
job-placement rates of up to 60% because it has identified businesses willing to hire youths that
have gone through their program.
These networks are bringing together a diverse coalition of like-minded actors with
complementary strengths. Partners include non-governmental organizations like the
International Youth Foundation and the Lions Club International Foundation. They include
government and intergovernmental agencies like the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) and its Global Development Alliance and the Inter-American Development Bank.
And, they include major players from the private sector, including Lucent, Microsoft, and Nokia.
These partnerships marshal real resources to address these challenges. Together, Entra 21
and the Alliance for African Youth Employment will mobilize over $26 million over 5 years to
promote youth education and employment.
Finally, these mechanisms are being replicated. In February of this year, USAID?s Global
Development Alliance provided an $11 million start- up grant to the Education and
Employment Alliance, a new partnership led by the International Youth Foundation. In Egypt,
India, Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan and the Philippines, this alliance will tap the innovation and
resources of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to ensure that young people receive the
appropriate education and training they need to find gainful employment.
Mr. Chairman, these are not the only examples of strong initiatives designed to provide the
world?s youth with the skills they need for a productive career. But they do, I think, represent
the tremendous power of networks to deliver concrete results in this implementation era.