By Zhang Qian
China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Global Development Initiative (GDI) offer unique platforms to step up global efforts in solving youth employment issues, said a senior expert with the International Labor Organization (ILO).
Both initiatives help visualize the needed actions and interventions so that we can push young people out of unemployment and inactivity, Susana Puerto Gonzalez, Senior Youth Employment Specialist of ILO, told Xinhuanet on the sidelines of the ongoing World Youth Development Forum in Beijing.
"Youth employment is absolutely an urgent issue currently," Susana said, adding that many young people lose their jobs and drop out of schools as COVID-19 brought disruptions to schools and labor markets.
Even after years of recovery efforts, the world is not yet back to the pre-pandemic level of youth employment, she said.
While elaborating on the worrisome reality of youth unemployment worldwide, Susana particularly pointed out contributions made by China to these fields.
According to Susana, an array of cooperation projects have been launched to tackle with some fundamental issues in the labor market since the ILO and China started working together under BRI a decade ago, which have enriched their experience in this regard.
Through the GDI, China has also created a unique platform for collaboration among countries and contributed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the ILO expert said. She believed that the initiative has offered solid support and inspirations to help young people in the labor market.
Susana said that the World Youth Development Forum is also a very good example of China's efforts in the global endeavor to promote youth employment.
She noted that the forum, which is part of the GDI, provides a unique opportunity for young people to exchange their experiences and knowledge, voice their needs and identify the gaps they perceive in finding decent jobs.
With high expectations for the youth forum, Susana highlighted the importance of translating its outcomes into concrete actions and advancing the agenda in future events.
The World Youth Development Forum, under the theme of "Youth Strength for Solidarity and Innovation: Striving Together for Sustainable Development", attracts approximately 2,000 youth representatives from China and abroad including those online attendees.
A total of 100 cooperation projects related to the global youth development action plan were released at the forum.