The need to invest in education and health and to generate decent work is a central theme of chapter B of the Montevideo Consensus, on Population and Development, dealing with “Rights, needs, responsibilities and requirements of girls, boys, adolescents and youth”. Chapter B also mentions the great opportunity offered by the demographic dividend, mentioning that “Considering that the 15-29 age group in the region now numbers some 160 million persons —in other words, young people account for one quarter of the population— and that the demographic dividend offers a unique opportunity for social investment in adolescence and youth, based on intergenerational solidarity, an investment which is essential for the three pillars of sustainable development: social, economic and environmental.” Follow-up to priority measure 25 may be conducted under three specific measures of chapter B: priority measure 7 (“Guarantee for all boys, girls, adolescents and young people, without any form of discrimination, the chance to live a life free from poverty and violence, and to enjoy protection and exercise of their human rights, a range of opportunities and access to health, education and social protection”), priority measure 9 (“Invest in youth, through specific public policies and differentiated access, especially through the provision, without discrimination, of universal, free, public, secular, high-quality, intercultural education in order to ensure that this stage of life is full and satisfactory, to enable them to develop as autonomous individuals with a sense of responsibility and solidarity and with the ability to tackle creatively the challenges of the twenty-first century”) and priority measure 10 (“Promote and invest in labour and employment policies and special training programmes for youth to boost personal and collective capabilities and initiative and to enable them to reconcile studies and work activities, without precarious working conditions and guaranteeing equal opportunities and treatment”). Priority measure 25 is also linked to priority measure 122 of chapter J on “Frameworks for the implementation of the future regional agenda on population and development”, in which the representatives of the countries participating in the first session of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, under follow-up recommendations, asked the United Nations Population Fund “to strengthen cooperation activities with the Governments of the region in the framework of their commitment to strengthen investment in youth and, in particular, to intensify efforts to coordinate actions relating to access to quality education, including comprehensive sexuality education, gender equality, decent work for youth and their access to quality health care, including sexual health and reproductive health services, in conjunction with other cooperation agencies and other bodies in the United Nations system.”
Related instruments, forums and mechanisms
The creation of enabling conditions for reaping benefits from the demographic dividend must include investing in education, health and employment, in order to achieve empowerment and representation. In this regard, many of the Sustainable Development Goals promote the fruition of the demographic dividend. The most directly related to this objective are Goal 3 (“Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”) and Goal 4 (“Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”). Others can play a contributing role: Goal 10 (“Reduce inequality within and among countries”), Goal 11 (“Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”) and Goal 16 (“Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”).