The meeting began with H.E. Mr. Dullas Alahapperuma presenting information from the World Youth Conference 2014, which was hosted in Sri Lanka. A total of 1,500 participants attended, most were youth delegates and civil society members. At this conference the Colombo Declaration on Youth was comprised, and the main focus of the conference was youth unemployment. The delegates suggested possible solutions to this including job creation, entrepreneurship incentives, more liberal access to education, and training and skills development. The conference also focused on ICT skills development, healthcare for youth, and gender equality.
Next, Mr. Doug Court spoke about the Global Summit on Youth and ICT, which took place last September in Costa Rica. This forum focused on entrepreneurship, governance, unemployment, and the environment; the factors most impacted by technology for youth. There was also discussion on how technology brings down barriers between citizens/youth and policy makers.
Mr. Gabriel Laurence-Brook then gave a statement about the International Organisation de La Francophonie (IOF), an organization committed to increasing youth action and supporting French-speaking youth. At the last IOF conference the delegates talked about youth involvement in creating the SDGs, and there was some debate over whether the youth agenda should be addressed in a cross cutting manner in all SDGs vs. having a specific SDG on youth. The forum also discussed strengthening youth decision-making bodies, access to decent and lasting jobs for youth, and programs to foster youth entrepreneurship. The next Conference will be held in Dakar, Senegal on November 29 2015, under the theme of “women and youth in the French speaking world as drivers for peace and development”.
Lastly, Mr. Alejo Ramirez spoke on behalf of the Ibero-American Youth Organization, which represents youth from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. So far, this organization has found that young people have not played an important enough role in the creation of the SDGs, and their role must be made larger. He also called upon the SDGs to lift people from poverty, as well as focus on employment and healthcare for young people.
Meeting Title: Forum on Youth 2014: Reports From Global and Regional Youth Forum
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Dullas Alahapperuma, Minister for Youth Affairs and Skills Development, Sri Lanka; Mr. Doug Court, Deputy Coordinator, ITY BYND 2015 Youth Summit; Mr. Gabriel Laurence-Brook, Spokesperson of the Francophone Youth Parliament; Mr. Alejo Ramirez, Secretary-General, Ibero-American Youth Organization
Location: United Nations HQ, New York
Date: 2 June 2014
Written By WIT representative: Marli Kasdan
Edited by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark