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Champion Mayors Commit to Empower Youth and Deliver Inclusive Economic Growth in COVID-19 Recoveries

28 May 2021

More than 60 mayors from around the world renewed commitments to inclusive growth and pledged to support youth through COVID-19 recovery initiatives in their cities, at the 5th Anniversary Meeting of the OECD Champion Mayors For Inclusive Growth.

COVID-19 exacerbated existing inequalities and has disproportionately affected individuals from disadvantaged communities. Mayors have been on the frontline of responses to the COVID-19 crisis. They play a key role to implement nation-wide measures, but have also provided laboratories for bottom-up and innovative recovery strategies.

Young people have been especially affected. By the end of 2020, youth unemployment rates had increased in nearly all OECD countries, and by twice as much as for older generations. The Youth are also likely to shoulder the burden of the long-term social and economic costs stemming from the pandemic

Mayor of Paris, and Chair of the OECD Champion Mayors For Inclusive Growth initiative, Anne Hidalgo, said local government leaders have a crucial role to play  to protect and empower youth to get through this crisis and prepare for the post-COVID world.

“As city leaders, we are key actors in domains that affect youth, and we must enable young people to build good lives for themselves by providing educational and employment opportunities that will empower them,” Ms Hidalgo said.

The pledge commits the city leaders to three key actions:

  • Improving youth access to local services
  • Improving access to local economic opportunities and labour markets
  • Creating pathways for youth engagement in local public life

OECD, Secretary-General, Angel Gurria called on mayors to continue to pursue an inclusive future for all, especially while facing the shared challenge of COVID-19.

“For the past five years, the OECD Champion Mayors For Inclusive Growth have been leading the fight against inequality, by advancing inclusive economic growth in their cities. They already have an ambitious agenda, but it is time to upscale successful inclusive growth practices across cities worldwide and improve the future of citizens everywhere,” said Mr Gurria.

View the Champion Mayors Pledge For Youth In The COVID-19 Era

For examples of inclusive growth initiatives in Champion Mayors cities, read 5 Years of Inclusive Growth