Young people are effective agents of change. Enthusiastic and creative, they contribute to development by addressing society’s most challenging issues, such as combating poverty and hunger in their communities, stemming the HIV/AIDS pandemic through peer education and championing the protection of the environment. Youth often lead by example by practicing green and healthy lifestyles and promoting innovative new technologies, like online social networks. Countries that invest in their young people reap the benefits through greater growth and social well-being for generations to come. It is more effective to invest early than to repair later, when badly-equipped adults turn out to be unskilled, unemployed or unhealthy. Governments should make children and youth part of their national investment strategies and provide sufficient resources for proven policies and programmes. This would allow them to achieve their intended goals with the greatest impact per dollar cost.