This is our collective call to action. Following our report “Engaging Young People for Health and Sustainable Development” commissioned by the World Health Organization and published in 2018, we initiated the first of several commentaries in The Lancet family of journals, to raise awareness about a need for profoundly different ways of thinking and working with and for young people for better health and wellbeing.
The article was published on the occasion of the 72nd WHO World Health Assembly when the organization was endorsing its future strategy for global health and wellbeing. It highlighted the findings and recommendations to the World Health Organization for strategic opportunities to transform youth engagement working with partners, which have not yet been sufficiently integrated into the UN agency’s work.
Barbara Bulc, the lead author mobilized change-makers from some of the leading organizations globally contributing to transformation. The co-authors included Batool Al-Wahdani (International Federation of Medical Students’ Association), Flavia Bustreo (Fondation Botnar), Shakira Choonara (African Union Commission), Alessandro Demaio (EAT Foundation) (University of Melbourne), David Imbago Jácome (Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights), Arush Lal (Global Health Corps) (Women in Global Health), Jess Posner Odede (Girl Effect), Petra Orlic (International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation), Rohit Ramchandani (Antara Global Health Advisors), and Sarah Walji (Nursing Now).
With several examples sharing opportunities for engagement, the commentary says “Achieving the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will not be possible without the meaningful engagement of young people.” This series will continue in our following journals under The Lancet.