The High-Level Forum on Adolescent Girls and Agenda 2030 will be held on 11 March from 9:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m. at United Nations Headquarters in New York City in advance of the Commission on the Status of Women. During this event, organized by UNFPA in collaboration with UN Women, world leaders and experts will discuss how investing in adolescent girls – especially in their education and sexual and reproductive health and rights – will ensure sustainable development for all. From 1:15–3:00 p.m. a high-level luncheon event titled "Investing in adolescent girls: A prerequisite for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” will take place.
Today, the largest-ever generation of young people is growing up in a rapidly changing world. Currently, there are 600 million adolescent girls with specific needs, challenges and aspirations for the future. They have the potential to jumpstart economic growth and spur the innovation needed for a sustainable future, and their welfare is fundamental to achieving key economic and social objectives – including a competitive labour force, sustained economic growth, improved governance and vibrant civil societies.
However, for many adolescent girls, the onset of puberty marks a time of heightened vulnerability to a variety of harmful factors, such as leaving school, child and forced marriage, early pregnancy, HIV and sexual exploitation, coercion and violence. Addressing these crucial challenges that adolescence presents for girls around the world is a critical step to unlocking transformational change and achieving sustainable development.
“Investing in the education of women and girls anywhere brings huge returns for health and great benefits for society,” says UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “It is important that the UN continues to speak about the significance of upholding equality for all and for striving to ensure that gender equality is realized.”