Youth Flash Newsletter November 2013
Photo Credit: UN photo
In this issue of Youth Flash, you will find the following:
UN Youth Delegate Programme: Speaking on Behalf of the World’s Youth by Tornike Zurabashvili
News from UN offices
Youth in Action
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By Tornike Zurabashvili*
We often hear that youth participation in decision-making processes should increase, but very rarely do we ask ourselves the question of how we should participate or what would be the extent and degree of our participation. The answer to this question is rather simple: no decision or action on problems facing the young people should be taken without engaging youth. United Nations has long championed these ideals in its official proceedings and among its many other initiatives, UN Youth Delegate Programme has stood as one of the oldest and the most meaningful mechanisms for youth engagement at the global level.
It has been three decades that the United Nation recommending Member States to include youth representatives in their national delegations to the General Assembly and other relevant UN conferences. Although the programme is coordinated by the United Nations Focal Point on Youth (a part of the Division for Social Policy and Development in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs), Youth Delegate’s role in general, is determined by the authority in charge of youth affairs in a country, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the country's Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
Similarly, selection processes might vary country to country and individual Member States get to decide on how to identify youth delegate/s. The underlying principle is that the selected young persons need to have credible mandate and knowledge to represent youth of their countries. In the Georgian case, the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs together with the incumbent Youth Delegate operate the entire selection process and determine the specific role and mandate of the youth delegate. In Georgia, a Youth Delegate is recruited through an open call, starting in April and involves three rounds of selection process stretching all the way to June. In the first round, applicants are required to submit their resume and an essay on a youth-related topic while in the second round candidates are interviewed by the selection committee. The last and the decisive step is the public speaking contest, where the shortlisted candidates are given a topic to present before the audience.
It did not take long for me to make up my mind and apply to the programme. The process appeared to be highly competitive; with around 80 candidates at the initial stage of application, the odds of being selected seemed very unfavorable. However, the combination of my previous experience in the field of youth affairs, professional and academic background in international affairs and the passion to represent Georgia’s youth helped me to succeed. Like many other Youth Delegates , before departing for New York, I met hundreds of youngsters through my extensive visits to cities, towns and villages, universities, schools and youth organizations, active student groups and individual youngsters to listen to their ideas and connect them to the work of the United Nations.
In October, following the youth consultations in my home country, I headed to NYC for the 3rd Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, which deals with issues related to social, humanitarian and cultural affairs. Within first few hours of communication with the rest of Youth Delegates, I was assured that we possessed sufficient creativity, motivation and fresh ideas to make our time a memorable experience and our work a valuable outcome for the youth we represented. While all of us had an opportunity of attending Third Committee hearings, some of the Youth Delegates, including me, were allowed to speak in front of 193 Member State representatives, where we voiced the concerns of not only our constituencies but also youth in general.
One more important part of the Youth Delegate’s work at the United Nations is organizing and attending ‘Side Events’ on youth-related matters. Like every year, Youth Delegates organized working meetings on thematic issues including, “Youth Engagement through Culture”, “World Youth Conference in Colombo”, “Children and Youth in Post-Conflict Settings", “LGBT Rights and the UN”, “Youth Participation” “Educational Initiatives” etc. We also had a chance of meeting and sharing our experiences with the UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi.
Another engagement opportunity for this year’s delegates was to work on youth-related resolutions, specifically in the form of participation in the informal consultations concerning the resolution on “Policies and Programmes Involving Youth”. This resolution, negotiated by Member States, contains issues pertinent to the situation of young people and outlines ways of addressing these issues. Until the time this article was produced, approximately ten informal consultations had taken place and usually the partakers were the diplomats from Member States along with some Youth Delegates, who were allowed to participate in negotiations on behalf of the respective Member States.
Although negotiations proved to be hard and sometimes frustrating, not only did we get an invaluable experience but also we proved that we are capable of contributing equally as our elder peers and that our voice matters. We left the United Nations at different times but with the same hope that many more countries around the world will follow our suite and empower young people to voice their ideas from the floor of the United Nations. We all remain at your disposal and we will be ready to pave the way for those desiring to join this wonderful program.
For More information about UN Youth Delegate Programme, please visit:
* Tornike Zurabashvili 23, is the Youth Delegate of Georgia to the United Nations. In October 2013, Tornike represented his constituents as an official member of the Georgian Delegation to the UN General Assembly.
Youth Flash Newsletter
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UNDESA Expert Group Meeting on Youth, development, and rights
The Focal Point on Youth, Division for Social Policy and Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) convened an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on "Youth, development and rights" from 13 to 14 November 2013 in New York.
Over the two days, experts from across the world discussed on the barriers and challenges facing by the young people in exercising their full set of rights to participation in civic, political and economic life. The expert group also brought up suggestions and recommendations to overcome these barriers and challenges.
The meeting was attended by experts and representatives of youth organisations, academia, Member States, UN entities, and intergovernmental organizations.
For more information about the meeting, biographies of participants, agenda of the meeting, presentations and other information, please visit:
For more information about the Focal Point on Youth
Face book: facebook.com/UN4Youth
New additions to the Youth Library!
The Focal Point on Youth maintains an online youth library, which is a collection of all youth relevant publications, from United Nations entities and other organizations. The library is a one stop resource center where young people, researchers, Member States, and other interested parties might find all publications relevant to youth development in general and the fifteen priority areas of the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY) in particular.
The Focal Point on Youth recently updated this library with all relevant publications from United Nations entities and other organizations. Young people now have access to all youth related publications in a single page!
To explore the library, please visit:
To inform us about new publications, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the title and a brief summary of the publication.
UNAIDS and the PACT
UNAIDS and the PACT, a collaboration across 25 youth organizations are launching ACT 2015!: one goal – many voices. ACT! is a movement building initiative that aims to secure a post 2015 development framework that advances the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and HIV response for young people. ACT 2015 also aims to inspire action on the priorities of the youth constituency within national AIDS responses.
We are asking young people around the world to sign up and host community dialogues in their communities throughout the months of November and December 2013. As long as you are between the ages of 15-29 and involved or interested in joining the SRHR and HIV movements, you meet the criteria to participate. These community dialogues provide you and your peers with the tools to share your own stories, find solutions and inspire action.
International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2013
Young. Global. Active.
On 5 December the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme invites you to join us in celebrating International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2013, recognizing the contribution of volunteers to global peace and sustainable human development, and paying special tribute to the contribution of youth volunteers as the agents of change in their communities. The theme of this year’s IVD is both relevant and timely, particularly with the recent release of the UNV Youth Volunteering Strategy for 2014-2017 by Richard Dictus, UNV Executive Coordinator. The strategy aims to facilitate the engagement of youth in peace and development through volunteerism, bringing the voice of youth into the development discourse and helping young people to realize their full potential.
It is anticipated that the UN Youth Volunteer modality will be launched in early 2014.
For further information on the UN Youth Volunteer Programme please contact Robert Toe, Youth Programme Manager: +49-228-815-2513, email@example.com
YouthStart, a UNCDF programme funded by The MasterCard Foundation, has provided access to financial services and financial literacy training to over 220,000 youth in sub-Saharan Africa.
Moreover, UNCDF just released the mid-term evaluation of YouthStart, which reveals that there is ample momentum for the programme to reach 400,000 youth”. This achievement would represent doubling the initial targets set and makes of YouthStart a positive model to mainstream youth financial services.
However, YouthStart is aware that the challenge is big as still 740 million youth are unbanked globally. To demonstrate to other financial services providers that serving youth adequately and in a sustainable way is possible, YouthStart conducted a research and just released a publication titled ‘Building the business case for youth services”. This paper seeks to demonstrate that youth are a viable market.
More information please visit our website at www.uncdf.org/en/youthstart
Find the mid-term evaluation here: http://uncdf.org/
Young and Future Generations Day at UN Climate Change Conference COP 19/CMP 9
This year’s sixth edition of Young and Future Generations Day at COP 19/CMP 9 in Warsaw, Poland, saw a particularly impressive array of youth actions and presentations, alongside interactions with speakers at the highest level: UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, and French Climate Ambassador, Jacques Lapouge, were among those engaging with a committed and outspoken audience of some 200 Youth Delegates during the Intergenerational Inquiry.
UNAOC and IOM
PLURAL+ is a Youth Video Festival emphasizing the power of intercultural dialogue and youth expression to effect positive change. It is a joint initiative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with the support of many international partner organizations. Awarded videos are presented throughout the year, in multiple international venues and platforms, and the videos are used to raise awareness about migration, diversity and social inclusion.
After receiving more than 250 submissions from over 70 countries, the PLURAL+ 2013 winning videos have been selected. Please join us in celebrating the winners at the PLURAL+ 2013 Youth Video Festival Ceremony at the Paley Center for Media (25 West 52nd Street) in New York City on December 5, 2013.
Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pluralplus
Health for the World’s Adolescent report
The World Health Organization is currently preparing a report entitled ‘Health for the World Adolescents’ to be released in 2014. One of the ways to get adolescents to contribute content to the report was through a photo-competition for adolescents aged 14 and 19 years between July 15 and October 15 2003.
77 (39 males and 38 females) adolescents from 35 countries entered into the competition submitting over 450 photographs. 5 professional photographers and a young doctor, who had interned with WHO, selected the winners. Ten adolescents from 9 countries (Argentina, Brazil, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Slovenia, Ukraine and the United States of America) were selected as the winners and their photographs will appear in the report.
Economic Commission for Africa
Regional Conference on Population and Development Beyond 2014
The African Regional Conference on Population and Development Beyond 2014, organised by the Economic Commission for Africa in partnership with the African Union and UNFPA, was held from 30th September to 4th October in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend: The future we want for Africa" sought to emphasize the need for state and non-state actors to recommit themselves at the highest level to fully implementing the ICPD Plan of Action at both national and regional levels.
Within the introductory paragraphs of the declaration of the ICPD it was acknowledged that recent high fertility rates in the region has induced a rapid bulge in the youth population, and accordingly has had a profound impact on prospective social and economic innovation and development. The declaration called for the necessary high-level political commitment and provision of sufficient resources for youth development and employment in order to harness the potential of this demographic dividend for African development beyond 2014. Within the declaration emphasis was placed upon the full societal integration of youth amongst other groups into decision-making and other leadership positions, and the full provision of services including sexual and reproductive health apparatus in order for Africa to take full advantage of this current window of opportunity.
Economic Commission for Europe
The regional conference Enabling Choices: Population Priorities for the 21st Century
The regional conference Enabling Choices: Population Priorities for the 21st Century, organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and UNFPA, held in Geneva on 1-2 July 2013 was the culmination of the ICPD review in the UNECE region comprising Europe, Central Asia and North America. Based on the outcomes of the regional review over 200 high-level experts from governments, civil society and academia, as well as members of parliaments and youth representatives, the conference discussed strategies for action beyond 2014.
The Chair’s report of Regional Conference on ICPD placed emphasis upon issues affecting youth and highlighted the necessity of incorporating youth perspectives and participation into the development agenda discourse beyond 2014. The report noted the importance of ensuring access to quality sexual and reproductive health services, especially for youth and adolescents. It was underscored that expanded and decent provision of these services will enhance the capacity of youth to support families in facilitating the challenges of achieving work-life balance.
Investing in human capital was considered key for achieving sustainable development. This should include building capacities of adolescent and youth, allowing them to meaningfully participate in formulating policies. The Chair summary also emphasized the importance of partnerships, especially with civil society and youth, strengthening also the role of communities.
Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
Regional Conference on Population and Development beyond 2014
First Session of the Regional Conference on Population and Development beyond 2014, 12th-15th August 2013, Montevideo-Uruguay, organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean with the Government of Uruguay and UNFPA.
The Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development adopted at the Montevideo Regional Conference on population and development contains a series of agreements to strengthen implementation of population and development issues beyond 2014. It highlighted that out of a total regional population of one hundred and sixty million, a quarter of that figure is comprised of the region’s youth.
It was emphasised that this presents a unique opportunity to capitalise upon this potential demographic dividend, and solid investment in the region’s youth could yield considerable benefits for the three pillars of sustainable development beyond 2014. The Montevideo consensus therefore advocated a focus on investment in education, provision of decent employment for young persons and the creation of mechanisms to ensure the full participation of youth in areas of leadership and policy formulation. Furthermore, calls were made to ensure the decent and comprehensive provision of sexual and reproductive health services for the region’s youth to ensure that they are sufficiently prepared to meet the challenges of the twenty first century. The particular vulnerability of youth was highlighted, especially that of young women and girls to sexual violence, forced marriage and abuse, the consensus called for initiatives and mechanisms to combat these issues.
Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
Regional Conference on Population and Development in the Arab States beyond 2014
Regional Conference on Population and Development in the Arab States beyond 2014, 24th-26th June 2013, Cairo- Egypt, organized by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, the League of Arab States and UNFPA.
The national delegations gathered at the conference agreed on a common way forward articulated in the "Cairo Declaration on ICPD beyond 2014."
The Cairo Declaration of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in the Arab States detailed the important opportunities available for the Arab region to take advantage of the recent and rapid growth in the youth population. It notes that the current demographic window offers unprecedented potential for sustainable social and economic growth beyond 2014 and called for the necessary regional commitment to policies and programs to harness the potential of youth population. In particular the declaration emphasized that investment in education, sexual and reproductive health awareness, and a guaranteed non-discriminatory access to labour markets and decent work is essential. It was underlined that with such a commitment the region will be able to enhance the social capital of youth in for them to possess the capabilities to spur economic and social development. As a key component of this vision the declaration called for the full participation and integration of youth into leadership roles and policy formulation.
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific
6th Asia and Pacific Population Conference (APPC)
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in cooperation with UNFPA convened the Sixth Asia and Pacific Population Conference (APPC) in Bangkok from 16-20 September 2013. The Conference reviewed the region’s successes, challenges and future priorities in the area of population and development. Ministers and senior officials from 47 countries adopted a comprehensive Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development. The document will be the region’s input to next year’s UN General Assembly review of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
A central focus of the document is on the rights of young people and their needs. it was highlighted that sixty per cent of the world’s youth population live in the Asia Pacific region and as a result specific human rights centred youth policies and strategies are required. The improvement of economic and social conditions of youth was highlighted as integral to the region’s development potential and for the wellbeing of future generations. The declaration noted that the challenges of youth unemployment can be addressed through investment in education and developing and implementing strategies and policies that provide young people with access to decent and productive work as a means to ensure sustainable and inclusive development.
Youth Employment Network (YEN)
The Fund for Evaluation: Call for applications (Deadline December 10, 2013)
The International Labour Organization is now accepting applications for the fifth round of their Fund for Evaluation in Employment. The theme for this round is “Building evidence on the labour market effects of enterprise interventions”. Successful proposals can receive up to $180,000 for their impact evaluation, including randomized control trials. Projects proposed for evaluation must be from developing or emerging countries. The Fund is a joint activity of the ILO’s Youth Employment Network and Small Enterprise Department and is sponsored by Silatech, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Danish Lead Africa Commission, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation and the World Bank.
Proposals are due on December 10, 2013.
Global Entrepreneurship Week in Geneva (November 20, 2013)
The United Nations community in Geneva, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Italy and Portugal, will jointly celebrate the Global Entrepreneurship week (GEW) 2013. In the framework of the GEW in Geneva the United Nations community, including UNCTAD, WIPO and the Youth Employment Network, will organize a Town Hall Meeting on Youth Entrepreneurship for Development, to be held on Wednesday, 20 November 2013, 3-6 PM.
For registration visit here:
For more information about the GEW in Geneva, visit here:
United Nations Association of Serbia
Belgrade International Model United Nations - BIMUN
The United Nations Association of Serbia is organizing the 11h annual conference “Belgrade International Model United Nations - BIMUN 2014” from 12 to 16 March 2014.
“BIMUN 2014’’ will be an opportunity for diplomatic debates, with respect to multiculturalism and democratic values, but also for connecting young leaders. The conference will have a rich social life and special events (BIMUN party, BIMUN Diplomats Ball). Like previous years, the conference will be located in the Palace of Serbia, National Assembly of Serbia, Belgrade City Hall and several Serbian Ministries.
So far 1823 participants from 58 countries have participated on BIMUN. Join them and plan your participation on “BIMUN 2014” (12-16 March 2014).
Early Application deadline: 1st December 2013.
Final Application deadline: 20th January, 2014.
Integrity and the crisis: How to earn back the trust of young people?
On the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day and Transparency International’s 20th Anniversary, the OECD and Transparency International are inviting young people for a discussion about how to push the integrity agenda forward together. The conference, held at the OECD in Paris on 9 December 2013, is organised with and for young people as well as representatives from civil society, trade unions, business, governments and parliaments.
Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA)
Booklets on Forest Challenge Badge and Ocean Challenge Badge!
Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA) is delighted to announce the release of the Forest Challenge Badge and the Ocean Challenge Badge! These booklets are designed to help educate children and young people about the importance of forests and the ocean, and what we can do to ensure a sustainable future for these key resources. The booklets contain background information on each topic, and also include range of activities and ideas to stimulate learning and motivate children and young people to take action.
These publications are part of the YUNGA challenge badge series that is intended to raise awareness, educate and motivate young people to change their behaviour and be active agents of change. The challenge badge series can be used by teachers, youth leaders and especially Guide or Scout groups.
Take a look!
For more information, or to subscribe to our mailing list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
SOS Children’s Villages
I Matter – Care leavers as advocates
Every year, thousands of young people have to leave alternative care to live on their own. In many countries, this transition to independent life is destabilizing: without family and state support, care leavers have no one to turn to for housing or similar issues, and are abandoned for the second time.
Since 2009, SOS Children’s Villages has been running the I Matter campaign for the improvement of leaving care conditions. Youth participation has been the backbone of the campaign and the reason of its success through the years.
On the occasion of the Universal Children’s Day (November 20), which this year marks the fifth Anniversary of I Matter, we invite everyone committed to children and youth to read about the thought provoking peer research conducted by young people from different care settings and to help us expand our database of good practices on leaving care.
Disclaimer: Reference herein to any organization, view, or event is intended for explicit description only and does not constitute or imply endorsement or recommendation by the United Nations, or anyone else.