Amplifying the voice of young parliamentarians in development
The World Bank Global Young MP Initiative is a platform for empowering young parliamentarians (40 and under) from around the globe in pursuit of the common goal of a world free of poverty on a livable planet. Young MPs are more likely to relate to, and therefore advocate for, legislation to promote issues such as climate action, human capital investments and youth job creation. They are better positioned to leverage technology to create opportunities and change, bringing fresh perspectives and innovations to policy discussions.
Young people are grossly underrepresented in national Parliaments. According to research by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, only 2.8% of MPs are under 30 and 18.7% are under 40. Meanwhile, 63% of the global population, or more than 5 billion people, were under age 40 in 2022, with another 1.2 billion projected to reach working age in the Global South alone by 2033.
This growing youth population is facing a fast-evolving, challenging world. While automation and digitalization are threatening low-skill jobs, childhood stunting combined with inadequate education systems are hindering the preparedness of youth for the high-skill jobs of the future. Approximately 89% of young people are in lower or middle-income countries where lack of opportunities can lead them to migrate, or worse, find themselves involved in conflict. What’s more, youth across the globe will be forced to take on the burden of the increasingly devastating effects of climate change in the future.
The Global Young MP Initiative was launched under the leadership of the World Bank External and Corporate Relations Vice President in 2018 to empower this small but significant demographic of burgeoning legislators to accelerate change. It facilitates communication, information-sharing and networking among them and with development experts.
The Initiative convenes young parliamentarians annually for a dedicated substantive meeting in Washington DC every April during the World Bank Spring Meetings. It keeps members connected and informed on the latest data, opportunities, and resources throughout the year via virtual and social media platforms. Members are also encouraged to host additional regional or country-specific events.
The Initiative is governed by a nine-member Steering Committee composed of one legislator per World Bank region and a presiding officer, which provides direction, structure and determines areas of focus for members.