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

 

Barrel Bombs: Syria’s Indiscriminate Killers

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The Syrian government is bombing its citizens using barrel bombs; weapons filled with violent explosives and shrapnel. Most recently the barrel bombs have contained chlorine, transforming the already illegal bombs into chemical weapons. Due to the extreme heights at which the bomb is released it is impossible for the Syrian government to target the exact location of the explosion, resulting in an in-discriminative weapon destroying everything in its path.

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Peggy Hicks the Global advocacy director of Human Rights Watch explained that the HRW team has been monitoring attacks using satellites and witness testimonies. This map Ms Hicks shared demonstrates the location of the bombs in the last nine months; they are clearly aimed at the residential region of opposition civilians; there have been approximately 200 strikes since February 2014.

Syrian activist Ibrahim Al-Assil explained that these unpredictable bombs put the Syrian civilians in a state of constant fear and panic, unable to resume any semblance of normal life, including schooling for children.

Ambassadors from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Turkey, and the United States were unanimous that the current events in Syria are crimes against humanity and declared their full support for the motion from H.E. the Ambassador of France that the ICC should trial the Syrian government for the violation of international law and war crimes.

Chairperson H.E. Peter Van der Vietconcluded the conference with a call for the United Nations member states to unite on concrete action plans for the immediate termination of barrel bomb use and to enable the distribution of necessary food and medical supplies to civilians in Aleppo, who are in desperate need of security and support from the international community.

 

More extensive images on barrel bomb destruction in Syria can be viewed here: http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/04/28/syria-new-barrel-bombs-hit-aleppo

 

Meeting Title: Barrel Bombs: Syria’s Indiscriminate Killers

Speakers: Chairperson H.E. Peter Van der Vliet, Ibrahim Al-Assil, Dr Samer Attar, Peggy Hicks the Global advocacy director of Human Rights Watch, Representatives of the Permanent Missions of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Turkey, and the United States Mission

Location: United Nations HQ, New York

Date: 14 May 2014

Written by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark

OWG for Sustainable Development Goals: Focus Areas 15 & 16

Focus Area 15: Means of implementation/Global partnership for sustainable development 

Focus area 16: Peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law and capable institutions

H.E. the Ambassador of Bolivia on behalf of G77 and China acknowledged that the implementation process of the SDGs would determine the success of the program. The G77 delegates reiterated their support of Bolivia’s statement that the MDGs were weakened by the ill-defined implementation programs, particularly for the 8th MDG, and therefore action-orientated targets are key to maximising outcomes.

Delegates commonly asked that focus area 15 address; the removal of tariff boundaries, debt relief, market and trade access, prevention of elicit arms trade and human trafficking. H.E. the Ambassador of Denmark, Ambassador of Switzerland and representatives on behalf of Norway, Germany, France, and Australia, affirmed the need to engage with civil society, media and private sectors alongside multiple levels of governance for successful implementation worldwide.

State ambassadors and those representing the G77, Caricom, and the Non-aligned Movement have emphasised the role of peace as indispensable to the achievement of sustainable development for all states. In particular, H.E. the Ambassador of Croatia, focused on Croatia’s recent experience of war and corrupt governance, which has cemented their firm believe that factors of Sustainable Development are lead by safety, freedom of speech, inclusiveness, and institutions that are both accountable and capable.

Representative of Zimbabwe who spoke on behalf of the Southern African Counties expressed that the primary focus should instead be on the eradication of poverty, which would, in turn, provide peace to states. Representatives of Denmark, Egypt, Cuba and Brazil shared their concerns for inclusive societies and rule of law as a whole focus area and consider instead mainstreaming these targets throughout the paper amongst other focus areas.

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Meeting Title: Eleventh session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (9th meeting: Focus Areas 15 and 16)

Key Speakers:Co-Chair H.E. Ambassador of Hungary Csaba Kőrösi, Co-Chair H.E. Ambassador of Kenya Macharia Kamau and delegates on behalf of: Bolivia, China, Barbados, Iran, Papua New Guinea, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Benin, Lesotho, Colombia, Guatemala, Nauru, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Netherlands, UK, Australia, United States, Canada, Romania, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Sweden, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Switzerland, Germany, France, Singapore, Palau, Liechtenstein, Nigeria, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Latvia, Austria, Portugal, Cuba, Morocco, Egypt, Paraguay, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, India and Vanuatu

Location: United Nations Headquarters, New York

Date: May 9th 2014

Written by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark