Forum on Youth 2014

In accordance with UN General Assembly resolution 68/1, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) should further promote the integration of youth into its deliberations, building on the past positive experiences of informal youth forums.

From the 2-3, June 2014 the United Nations was home to youth delegates, representatives from the Children and Youth Major Groups, youth representatives from Member States, including those from National Youth Councils, representatives of regional youth organisations as well as youth-led and youth focused organisations and networks, including those in consultative status with ECOSOC.

The aim of the Youth Forum was to bring the voice of young people into discussion on addressing the challenges for meeting the Millennium Development Goals and shaping the post-2015 development agenda. During the opening ceremony, Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon remarked, “There is a world of need out there, but also a world of opportunity. So I urge you to keep doing your part. Keep showing your leadership as global citizens” while urging attendees to “keep making a difference”. The Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi spotlighted five thematic areas; education, employment and entrepreneurship, health, peace and security, and governance  as the greatest concern that threaten youth development in nation states. These areas were condensed after engaging more than 1.2 million young people through the My World 2015 survey and a crowdsourcing platform convened by UN agencies and partners. World Information Transfer’s DPI Representative, Apurv Gupta, was ranked 5 in the overall community, sharing recommendations on all thematic issues.

It was observed at the forums conclusion that employment was the key area young people wanted world leaders to focus on during the construction of the post-2015 development agenda. Currently, 75 million youth are unemployed, and more than 600 million jobs need to be generated globally in the life span of the new development agenda to absorb current unemployment levels and provide jobs to new labour market entrants.

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Meeting Title: ECOSOC Youth Forum 2014
Speakers: H.E. Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General, United Nations, H.E. Martin Sajdik (Austria), President of the Economic and Social Council, H.E. Csaba Kőrösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations and Co-Chair, Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goal, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy for Youth, Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Youth Representatives.
Location: United Nations HQ, Conference Room 1 (CB)
Date: 3 June 2014
Written by WIT representatives:  Apurv Gupta and Aslesha Dhillon

Forum on Youth 2014: Reports From Global and Regional Youth Forum

97401248-ab48-4d56-a715-7addf9106359Today the Forum on Youth 2014 began in the Trusteeship Council Chamber. This afternoon’s meeting focused on reports from previous global and regional youth forums.

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