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Youth Flash Newsletter June 2012

Lauren Burke

In this issue of Youth Flash, you will find the following:

Feature Article:

  • Youth discuss sustainable development in the context of the Rio +20

News from UN offices

News from UN Information Centers (UNIC)

Youth in Action



Featured Article

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Young people from several countries will exchange experiences and plan activities to mobilize and focus on Rio+20  

Around 3000 young people from around the world will gather in Rio de Janeiro, between 7 and 12 June to attend the Youth Blast - Youth Conference for Rio+20. The event is part of the official schedule of activities leading up to Rio+20 – United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and the main objectives are to empower, engage and enable children and young people to act in the official proceedings of the Conference, besides facilitating exchanges of experiences and solutions of the issues that permeate the official process. 

More than ever, the transition to a new type of development that has as the pillars of social welfare, economic prosperity and environmental preservation is necessary. The difficulties of implementing the agreements signed in recent years will require from Rio+20 not only the renewal of an international political commitment, but mostly a call to action for sustainable development. The direct involvement and the incidence of youth in Rio +20 should help significantly in finding solutions and building an agenda for a new global governance.

The Youth Blast –Conference of Youth for Rio+20 is the official event of the Major Group for Children and Youth and is being organized by several young Brazilians and young people from around the world from movements and organizations that work with youth. The initiative is implemented by the National Youth Secretariat of the General Secretariat of the Presidency of Brazil with the support of the Brazilian National Youth Council and the Secretariat of the United Nations.

The event will be divided into two distinct stages 7 and 8 June will be directed at the exclusive participation of young Brazilians. The 10-12 June will be open to participation by young people from different countries. During this period, activities will be conducted in English. There will be simultaneous translation into Portuguese, French and Spanish.

The Youth Blast will offer a diverse program with workshops, training, self-organized activities, lectures, capacity building, and also specific times for planning activities and actions of incidence and mobilization to be developed by young people during the official Conference

Participants will have the opportunity to understand more about Rio+20, what its importance is, the People's Summit and other parallel processes, what is at stake in the discussions, what the position of Brazil and other countries on the global stage are, and how to negotiate along the lines of the United Nations. At the end of the meeting a document will be presented as the official position of Major Group for Children and Youth.


To participate in the Youth Blast participants just need to be up to 30 years and do a pre-registration at the event. The participant must pay their travel expenses, meals and accommodation in Rio de Janeiro.

Further information about the Major Group of Children and Youth


Youth Blast –Conference of Youth for Rio+20

Accomplishment: Major Group for Children and Youth – UNCSD MGCY (United Nations Commission of Sustainable Development Major Group of Children and Youth) and the National Youth Secretariat of the General Secretariat of the Presidency of Brazil.

Support: Brazilian National Youth Council and General Secretariat of the United Nations.


Brazilian days - 7 and 8 June

International days - 10 to 12 June

Location:SulAmerica Convention Centre, Av. Paulo de Frontin, 1 - Cidade Nova - Centro - Rio de Janeiro

Official website in Portuguese:

Official website in English:

Link to pre-register:



Social Networks:

Facebook Page:

Twitter:! / MGCY_UNCSD; #YBRio

Sign up for Press and Free Media:


Brazilian Press:

Ionara Silva

Phone: 55 (61) 9815-2087 / 55 (15) 9152-4161

International Press:

Kiara Worth
Phone: 21-8234-9714 


Youth Flash Newsletter

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Rio+20 Events: 

GSP Side Events at Rio+20:
The United Nations Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP) will organize or co-organize several side events at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

National Learning and Skills Strategies to Advance a Green Transition
Time: 16 June 2012, 15:30 - 17:00
Venue: P3-A, Riocentro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
for more information click here

Open Dialogue on The Future We Choose
Time: 18 June 2012, 10:00 - 18:00
Venue: P3-3, Riocentro
for more information click here

In particular, the afternoon session will bring together Nobel Laureates, members of the GSP and The Elders with youth representatives in an inter-generational dialogue focusing on putting sustainable development into practice.

Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing
Time: 21 Jun 2012, 15:00 - 16:30
Venue: P3-B, Riocentro
for more information click here

More information about these events (programmes, documents, etc) will be available soon at If you have any questions, please contact Lee Cando ( or Jin Zhang (

Department of Public Information and Office for Disarmament Affairs: 
The Art for Peace contest winners announced

From 92 Countries, 6,623 works of art projected one singular message: Peace.

The submissions received after watching an age-appropriate nuclear non-proliferation video and "Imagining a World free of Nuclear Weapons" were both inspiring and thought-provoking. Based on creativity, composition, theme and technique, during the course of one month, four winners from each category (ages 5-8, ages 9-12 and ages 13-17) were evaluated by an international panel of 140 jurors.

The top four winners from the 5-8 year-old category hailed from Indonesia, China, Russia and Pakistan. From the 9-12 year-old group, artists from Malaysia, USA, Kazakhstan and Germany walked away with the top prizes. Each of these artists will be gifted with art supplies as their prizes

The teenage group received cash prizes, which were doubled from the original amounts, thanks to a generous contribution of matching funds from South South News. In the 13-17 year-old category, the fourth prize winner, receiving $200, was given to an artist from El Salvador for a rendition of “Feeding Peace”. Third prize, $400, was awarded for a submission from Thailand entitled “Defense Cooperation”. The second prize of $600 was claimed by a Japanese artist for “Nature”. The first prize winner from the United States, Haruka Shoji, whose winning picture is Youth Flash’s cover image this month, received $1,000 for “Someday”.

All winning artwork will be reproduced in a calendar for the 12 outstanding artists to keep as a long-lasting memory of their efforts. Each participating artist may download a Certificate of Participation from the form on the contest website  For everyone, the winning artwork is available to enjoy though a slideshow presentation at

As the proud sponsors of the Art for Peace contest, the Office for Disarmament Affairs, the Department of Public Information and the Harmony for Peace Foundation offer a heartfelt thanks to all who participated: the artists, promoters, judges and everyone interested in peace.  YOU are all winners!

I'm a City Changer Campaign

I’m a City Changer Campaign is a global movement to share and spread individual, corporate and public initiatives that improve our cities.I'm a City Changer is a worldwide campaign with the aim of sensitizing and creating awareness among citizens on urban issues to achieve better cities.It is promoted by UN-Habitat, the city agency of the United Nations, through the World Urban Campaign.

Learn more

United Nations Information Service Vienna: 
Student Short Film Competition on Human Rights 2012

The Student Short Film Competition on Human Rights 2012 invites students between the ages of 10 and 20 in Austria and other countries worldwide to produce short films (max. 3 min) on the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a special focus on sustainability, migration / refugees and global warming. The United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Vienna and several other United Nations information offices are once again supporting the competition, organised by the Film Festival on Human Rights “this human world” taking place every year in Vienna. Apart from Austria, in 2011 the competition was already successfully launched in Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia. This year, several UN information offices around the world are planning to organise the Student Short Film Competition in a number of countries in cooperation with local educational and cultural institutions. Submissions are to be evaluated by a local jury.

For more information: click here.

Food and Agricultural Organization – FAO
FAO 4 new challenge badges 

FAO is pleased to announce the 4 new challenge badges on Energy, Hunger, Nutrition and Water have been developed and are ready for testing. If your group, school or organization are interested in pilot testing please contact the YUNGA Office ( Find out more about YUNGA at   

FAO Sourebook on development of careers in agricultural sector 

FAO is developing a sourcebook to facilitate and support young people wanting to develop careers or businesses in the agricultural sector. If you are a young person involved in agriculture and have developed innovative practitioners or found solutions to common barriers we would like you to include your experiences in the sourcebook. Please contact us at

UNIC New Delhi, India

Youth Volunteers build houses for the poor in New Delhi 

Thousands of Asia’s youth were outdoors in a one-day blitz build challenge. They were digging, laying bricks, mixing cement, and wielding hammers, all in a massive effort to provide shelter to nearly 500 families in India, China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.  

The UN Information Centre in New Delhi partnered with Habitat for Humanity in its Youth BUILD effort. Many people gave up their Saturday morning to help build 41 homes west of Delhi for disabled men and women and their families.  

In line with the Millennium Development Goals, providing these vulnerable people with shelter, water and sanitation is a first step towards pulling them out of poverty.  

What better way to celebrate the International Day of Families than to provide a place for the family to live in dignity. Especially in homes built by youth volunteers! 

UNIC Baku, Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani students become diplomats for a day

On 14 April 2012 at the Fourth Annual Baku Model UN Conference, articulate youth delegates condemned the global community’s failure to halt the ever-widening network of human trafficking. Drawn from 12 Baku-based high schools, the 110 delegates debated passionately before adopting a resolution urging Member States to intensity efforts to fight human trafficking. The student ambassadors represented 90 countries at the GA simulation session. They discussed issues related to the causes of human trafficking, including increasing poverty, unemployment and gender inequality.   

The Azerbaijani UN Resident Coordinator, Fikret Akcura, Baku office Head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Koray Targay, and Officer-in-Charge of the International Organization for Migration office in Baku, Serhan Aktoprak unanimously commended the students for learning about global problems and cooperating with their peers to strategize solutions. UN DPI Representative, Envera Selimovic, also applauded Baku schools for their enthusiastic support of the Conference. 

UNIC Tbilisi, Georgia

Voices of youth discuss sustainable development

More than 100 students from 10 Georgian universities simulated negotiating UN-related topics, such as global energy and sustainable development, at  the National Model United Nations (MUN) Conference in Tbilisi from 18-19 May 2012.  

The UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia, Jamie McGoldrick, opened the conference with remarks highlighting the need to shift towards a more sustainable world and the  importance of Rio+20, which will be convened in Brazil, from 20-22 June. “Georgia is part of the global dialogue on how to reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection for the future we want. Greening of development is imperative, but the social and economic strands of sustainable development are equally vital,” he said. He spoke about the role of youth in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and how MUN connects the UN and youth. 

For two days, delegates lobbied and debated on how to reset the global development agenda, reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection.  

The Conference was organized by the UN Association and the UN Office in Georgia. Model UN corners were established at all participating university libraries to provide UN related resources to university students and instigate continued interest in similar events. 

UNIC Yerevan, Armenia
Model UN takes on Iran’s nuclear programme

Traditionally, Armenia enjoys close economic and social ties with its neighbor, Iran.   Iran's nuclear programme is a challenging topic for Armenian youth, which is why the students of the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University chose it as the topic for their first Model UN Conference in May 2012.

Organized by the UN Office in Yerevan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Armenia, students improved their knowledge of UN values, multi-lateral diplomacy and how UN bodies function.

Prior to the Conference, training sessions were held to further educate the student delegates on the Security Council, including its Rules of Procedures. UNO established a Facebook group where an impassioned discussion blazed virtually before the proceedings. 

After hours of heated and challenging debates, a compromise was found and a final resolution agreed upon.  In the end tired but satisfied students received Certificates from the UNO.

World Youth Foundation

World Youth Foundation is pleased to invite you to participate in the “Youth Be Aware” Workshop 2012: Health And Environment  to be held from  26th - 29th November 2012 at Melaka, Malaysia.

The 4 day Workshop aims to be the first in a bi-annual series of workshops to create more awareness on the various current and emerging environmental issues affecting the lives of people, especially youth, and the world we live in. The Workshop will seek to educate and empower young people on how to adapt and manage the exposure and impacts of climate change, environmental pollution and the loss of natural resources through capacity building.

The  Call of Participation, Draft programme, FAQ , Registration Form can be found  at or email WYF at / for further information.


Final report of the inaugural UNOSDP Youth Leadership Camp now available

The final report of the inaugural UNOSDP Youth Leadership Camp, held in Doha, Qatar at the Aspire Dome from 9-19 January 2012, has just been released and is available at  The Camp, based on the vision of the Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr. Wilfried Lemke, was organized by UNOSDP in collaboration with Right to Play and Aspire.

The Camp was designed in order to provide theoretical and practical training to youth participants working on Sport for Development and Peace projects across Sub-Saharan Africa and the Palestinian Territories, on how to better use sport to positively impact their communities. The participants were able to share their strategies and best practices with other youth, facilitators and organizers and therefore the event opened an ongoing dialogue and exchange of ideas between the different actors.

The second Camp will take place in June 2012 in Hennef, Germany. These camps will now be a starting point for a programme that will include multiple camps over a multi-year period with the goal being to successfully impact youth from all over the world who have a passion for the field of Sport for Development and Peace and the desire to take their inspiration and translate it into action.


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