Largest Youth Generation in History at Crossroads

Smart Investments In Adolescent Girls Today Can Make Difference Between Poverty, Progress

New York, NY

February 25, 2011


Alexis Krieg

UN Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin Remarks on UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children 2011 Report:

“Today’s release of UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children 2011 report is further proof that one of the best ways to help solve some of the world’s most pressing issues is to identify and take action to meet the needs of today’s generation of adolescents.

The report links investment in adolescents as a proven way to break the cycles of poverty and inequity. Today, there are 1.8 billion adolescents standing at the crossroads between childhood and adulthood — making up the largest youth generation in history. Nine out of ten of these young people live in developing countries. The choices this generation makes will shape not only their lives, but will have a direct impact on the future of their communities, their nations, and the world around them.

The ripple effect of investment can have an accelerated impact when we help empower one of the world’s 600 million adolescent girls – who are up to 90 percent more likely to use the education, skills, and income they receive to reinvest back into their community. Investing in an educated, healthy, skilled, and empowered girl today means she will have the tools to reshape her family, her community, and our world for the better.

We applaud UNICEF for raising awareness about the challenges confronting the world’s adolescents and what we can do to empower this influential population. Through its work developing the State of the World’s Children 2011 report, and its leadership as one of the co-chairs of the United Nations Adolescent Girl Task Force, UNICEF is ensuring that everyone — no matter how young or old — can live up to the promise of their generation.”


The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities.  We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach.  Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems.  These campaigns focus on reducing child mortality, empowering women and girls, creating a new energy future, securing peace and human rights, and promoting technology innovation to improve health outcomes.  These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  For more information, visit