Vienna, September 4 2023 – As the world gears up for the highly anticipated 2023 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit, Youth RISE, in partnership with UNITE Parliamentarians Network for Global Health, proudly announces the launch of the policy brief titled “Advancing Youth-Centered Health and Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development.” The document outlines key recommendations and insights that can significantly influence the direction of discussions regarding youth, health, and policy reform. 

The 2023 SDG Summit, scheduled for September 18-19 in New York, is a pivotal moment for member states to reassess their commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The recently launched document brings to light critical issues affecting young key populations, particularly adolescents, who face daunting challenges in accessing essential health services due to restrictive laws and policies.

Youth RISE and UNITE Parliamentarians Network for Global Health Launch Policy Brief: "Advancing Youth-Centered Health and Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development"

Key Findings:

  • Young people aged 15-24 account for almost 27% of new HIV infections worldwide, despite comprising only approximately 16% of the global population.
  • In some countries, over 45% of new HIV infections are among young people.
  • At least half of the world’s population lacks full coverage of essential health services, with marginalized youth facing greater challenges.
  • Young people lack access to mental health care, comprehensive Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR), harm reduction programs, and non-coerced non-forced substance dependence recovery.
  • Youth quotas have proven effective in increasing youth representation in national parliaments.

The policy brief advocates for policy coherence for sustainable development and emphasizes the need to remove laws and policies that hinder young people’s access to healthcare and other services based on age, identity, or other status. It also calls for including young people as leaders and partners of Agenda 2030, promoting inclusive language, support and resources for youth-led and focused programs, and advancing youth representation and participation in local parliaments.

Call to Action:

Youth RISE and the UNITE Parliamentarians Network for Global Health invite young people and their allies to use this policy brief as a powerful resource in their advocacy efforts. As the 2023 SDG Summit approaches, we urge you to engage with your local policymakers and country missions attending the summit. Together, we can drive change, advocate for inclusive and youth-centred health policies, and ensure that no one is left behind on the path to a better future for all.

Contact Information:

For media inquiries or additional information about the policy brief, please contact:

Rebeca Marques Rocha, Communications & Advocacy Officer, Youth RISE   

Beatrix Vas, Drug Policy Coordinator, UNITE

About Youth RISE:

Youth RISE (Resources, Information, Support and Education) is a global youth-led network of young people who use. The organization works to amplify, maximise, and centre priorities of young people who use drugs and young people affected by drug policies at local, regional and international levels through coalition building, advocacy, and evidence gathering. Youth RISE mobilizes youth to be engaged in full-spectrum harm reduction and drug policy reform to promote health and human rights. 

About UNITE Parliamentarians Network for Global Health:

UNITE is a global network of parliamentarians committed towards the promotion of efficient and sustainable policies for improved global health systems worldwide, in alignment with the UN SDGs. The network works to promote evidence-based health policies, advocate for funding and resources, and facilitate collaboration between parliamentarians and other stakeholders in the field of global health.

Access the full policy brief in this link.