The youth group in the ESCWA region faces numerous challenges, including poor quality of education, incompatibility of education system outputs with the labour market, high unemployment rates, unhealthy life styles and low participation in decision-making and public and political life. In that regard, ESCWA focuses its activities on the need to address youth as a socio-demographic group that should be targeted with special national policies. As part of those activities, ESCWA publishes the fourth issue of the Population and Development Report which contains three parts. Part I presents the definition of youth, a review of the contemporary youth approaches and the United Nations approach laid out in the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond. Part II presents an analysis of the status of and major challenges facing youth in the ESCWA region. Part III addresses the impacts of development policies by reviewing youth policies adopted in ESCWA member countries and stresses the importance of addressing youth as a socio-demographic group that has its special needs and the importance of empowering them and offering them opportunities to benefit from their full potential.