Youth Banner

Youth Flash Newsletter October 2013

Youth Flash October Issue 2013
Photo Credit: UN photo

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

Feature Article:

  • Youth partnerships and the United Nations: Reflections on the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development Open Meeting with Youth by Alex Surace

News from UN offices

Youth in Action



Featured Article

Collapse All Expand All

By Alex Surace*

As we would have all experienced, young people often spoken AT rather than included as an equal in a DIALOGUE. I’m sure we have all experienced this in our activism, campaigns, projects and daily life. It can be extremely frustrating and disempowering, but more importantly I think, this mentality results in missed opportunities. We know young people are highly capable and more often than not altruistic in their outlook with a desire to help others less fortunate than themselves. Often all that is needed is favourable conditions and some consideration for personal and structural barriers for great things to happen!
With these thoughts in mind, I want to share some reflections on youth partnerships and the United Nations, an organisation we often think could or should be doing more for young people. Recently in New York, the United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (IANYD), co-chaired by UNFPA and UNDESA, hosted an Open Meeting with Youth Organisations, Networks and Movements. The meeting was co-organised with youth groups (myself as a youth representative and co-chair of the organising committee) and brought together representatives of the 40 members of the UN IANYD and participants from around 50 youth-led organisations. Specific efforts were made to ensure diversity and representation of marginalised youth groups in the planning stages and during the event itself, which added a lot of meaning to the event and in my opinion was a proof of concept that United Nations meetings can be more inclusive diverse spaces.
The ultimate objective of the meeting was to create lasting mechanisms for partnerships between youth-led organisations and the United Nations entities, in particular the IANYD at national, regional and global levels, including, within the context of the United Nations System-wide Action Plan on Youth (Youth-SWAP). The Youth-SWAP is essentially a framework strategy document for the UN Entities to follow in addressing the diverse needs and priorities of young people. The Youth-SWAP was developed in consultation with young people in the past years and is one of the products of the Secretary General’s priorities as part of his second 5 year term. It’s important however, not to confuse Youth-SWAP with the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY), which outlines a range of priority areas agreed to by Member States in 1995, I’ll return to the potential connection in a moment. 
For me, this focus on lasting mechanisms and partnerships at the Open Meeting between youth-led organisations, networks and movements with the UN entities was important and unique compared to other UN related meetings we have all participated in. The enthusiasm on behalf of several UN entities to seek genuine partnerships with youth was a breath of fresh air.
We covered a lot of ground, with thematic workshops exploring concrete ways partnerships could be created on the focus areas of the Youth-SWAP. We also took an opportunity to explore cross cutting topics aiming to address barriers to participation of young people and to ensure the UN reaches underrepresented and marginalised groups. Our final focus was on how to make partnerships sustainable, whether through a permanent forum on youth; youth advisory boards; effective communication; diverse youth representation; World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY) monitoring mechanisms and shadow reporting.
As you can see a lot of ground was covered and there are a lot of opportunities for follow up. This will be the focus of the organising committee in the coming weeks, to ensure the momentum we created does not disappear!
Returning to WPAY and the potential for connecting the dots; it covers 15 priority areas (much more than the Youth-SWAP) and was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1995 and 2007. The hope from my side is that the Youth-SWAP will act as a mechanism for the UN entities to partner with Member States in the shared priority areas between the documents and include youth-led organisations, networks and movements as active partners in project identification and implementation. 
With this type of partnership approach I am sure an enormous amount of enthusiasm and expertise will be brought into the youth action agenda of the UN and inter-governmental processes. Youth-led organisations, networks and movements have the experience of working closely with other young people in a variety of thematic areas and contexts, it’s really now about making it happen and unlocking the potential of young people to become highly effective change agents in their contexts and communities.
Of course all good ideas need resources to come to fruition. However, partnering with youth is in a slightly different category. Yes, resourcing is important and needed, but so is changing how UN entities and in many cases, Member States approach youth-led organisations, networks and movements in project implementation. The frame needs to shift from one of consultation, to dialogue and finally to partnerships.
Reflecting on my time in New York, I see the Open Meeting as a proof of concept on how UN entities can conduct meaningful dialogue with youth-led organisations, networks and movements in relation to the Youth-SWAP. It has happened at the international level and hopefully following shortly will be similar meetings at the regional and national level to turn these ideas into more concrete projects and actions. But importantly, I also see the Open Meeting and Youth-SWAP as a way to influence inter-governmental processes and assist Member States in meeting their objectives outlined in WPAY. Ultimately, UN entities, Member States and youth-led organisations, networks and movements need to be at the same table in a dialogue to identify, plan and implement projects to meet the needs of young people. The frameworks and momentum exists, its now time for action.
With over 2000 people applying to join the Open Meeting in New York there is definitely a WILL to be involved and as you know what they say, where there is a WILL there is a WAY.
For more information on:
United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (IANYD)
United Nations System-wide Action Plan on Youth Development (Youth-SWAP)
World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY)
Open Meeting with Youth Organisations, Networks and Movements
United Nations Secretary-General’s Action Agenda 
*Alex is a member of the Global Young Greens (GYG) Steering Committee and GYG representative on the ICMYO Taskforce (an international network for international youth-led organisations and regional youth platforms). Contact: Alex Surace ( 
More information:

Youth Flash Newsletter

Collapse All Expand All
UN Women
Voices against Violence
On the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child, 11 October, UN Women and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) launched Voices against Violence, a pioneering non-formal education curriculum on ending violence against women and girls that puts young people at the heart of prevention efforts.
A first of its kind, Voices against Violence is a co-educational curriculum designed for various age groups ranging from 5 to 25 years. It provides girls, boys, young women and young men with tools and expertise to understand the root causes of violence in their communities, to educate and involve their peers and communities to prevent such violence, and to learn about where to access support if they experience violence.  Working with youth organizations, UN partners and governments, UN Women and WAGGGS will roll out the curriculum to young people around the world. It will be adapted to national context, translated into local languages, and reach an estimated five million children and young people by 2020.
For more information about the curriculum and to learn how to deliver it safely visit, and contact UN Women or WAGGGS via email.
Youth Employment Network
World Bank Group Youth Summit 2013 (October 23, 2013)
The theme for the World Bank Group Youth Summit 2013 is “Youth Entrepreneurship: Cultivating an innovative spirit to alleviate global youth unemployment”. The summit provides a forum for young people from around the globe to share innovative ideas and business products to create opportunities for employment. Winning selections (winners and runners-up) of the Development Case Competition will present their proposals. The case proposed by Youth Employment Network (YEN) asked young people to design a better financial product for young entrepreneurs.
For more information about the summit:
The Fund for Evaluation: Call for applications (Deadline December 10, 2013)
The Youth Employment Network (YEN) supported the World Bank workshop on “Impact Evaluation in Quality Education, Skills, Productivity among Youth in Africa” (September 30 to October 5, Dakar). YEN presented the Fund for Evaluation, which provides technical and financial support to qualified organizations for designing and conducting their impact evaluations. The Fund’s fifth call for applications will provide seed funding to selected evaluations ranging from US$5,000 to US$180,000. Proposals must be submitted using the online application form by December 10, 2013.
YEN webinar on conducting impact evaluations (October 2, 2013)
On October 2, Youth Employment Network (YEN) conducted a webinar on impact evaluations. The webinar was hosted by MEDA Maroc, an NGO working to enhance economic and social inclusion of youth, and provided a step-by-step guide on designing and carrying out an impact evaluation.  MEDA Maroc’s "100 hours to Success" training program served as a practical example for the webinar. 
For more information about YEN’s webinars:
Model UN Security Council in Azerbaijan
UNDP Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Youth and Sport of the Republic of Azerbaijan organized the country’s first International Model UN Security Council Conference to be held from 21-24 October in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Conference brought together 45 university students and graduates from Azerbaijan and fourteen other Member States currently serving as members of the UN Security Council.  
The workshop provided participants with in-depth information on the scope of the Security Council, the role of key officials in the Security Council and UN Secretariat, management of international crises and support of UN Secretariat, consensus building process during negotiations and how it relates to the discussion and action phases of the Council’s work programme, drafting of Security Council resolutions and other outcome documents, library and electronic resources. The workshop was followed by a UN Security Council crisis simulation that will be held at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy.
This initiative was a component of a broader UNDP supported project ‘Youth Participation in Decision Making and Policy Implementation’ which seeks to bring the voices of Azerbaijani youth into local and national participatory and planning processes. 
Contact person: Vugar Allahverdiyev, UNDP Azerbaijan,
Empowered Youth: Catalysts today for a better tomorrow
On the occasion of the 2013 Social Good Summit that took place in New York in September, UNDP convened an event ‘Empowered Youth: Catalysts today for a better tomorrow”, that highlighted and explored emerging trends on how youth empowered with innovative ideas and technology can support long-term solutions to help achieve sustainable human development. 
The expert panel addressed the nexus between social change, technology solutions, and the importance of fostering an enabling environment for young men and women to access information, and take initiatives to incubate ideas and develop solutions that may inform and influence policy resulting in positive change in the local or international context.
The expert panel included Yasmin Green, Principal of Google Ideas, Glen Mehn, Director of the Social Innovation Camp, and Nnenna Nwakanwa, Council Chair of the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa. 
The live-streamed event may be found at: 
Contact person: Margaret Chi, UNDP/BDP/DGG,
Sierra Leone Issues the First ‘State of Youth’ Report 
Sierra Leone recently launched its first ever “State of Youth” report, offering the most comprehensive situation update on youth employment, education, well-being and participation in the development process. 
Supported and financed by UNDP, the report examines a wide spectrum of development themes and sectors, and argues for a comprehensive and dramatic scale-up of the country’s effort to pull young people out of poverty. Interventions include improving health services, matching education with the economy’s demand for skills and establishing public-private partnerships to create jobs. The document also examines the potential of agriculture to absorb unskilled youth on a massive scale, contending that with adequate support systems in place, agro-based value chains can be the main driver of economic growth and poverty reduction.
The report may be found at: 
Contact person: Abdul Karim Bah, UNDP Sierra Leone,
Young people successfully engaged in agriculture in the Niger Delta Region 
Using a community driven development approach, the IFAD funded Community Based Natural Resource Management Programme-Niger Delta managed to convert potential juvenile offenders into empowered young people engaged in agriculture.
The strength of the programme lied in the development of quick –win/profitable templates for youth engagement as well as evolvement of the use of individual based group enterprise ownership models to create interest among youths in agriculture. The programme also formed a youth forum as a platform for policy dialogue, networking, and knowledge sharing and services access. 
The total number of jobs created along the rice, cassava, oil palm, fisheries, livestock value chain and vocational schemes stand at 20,000, amongst which, 1,277 jobs were created by  in ownership of enterprises by youths and women were created. Over 50% increase in crop productivity was achieved.
On 2nd October, an Enterprise Fair was organised by youths show-casing their agricultural exhibits. This fair was coupled with a Youth forum gathering 200 young people to discuss on the topic ‘’Youths’ Response to Agriculture as Business’’
For more info, contact
Mrs Irene Jumbo- Ibeakuzie – project coordinator
Innovating for Girls’ Education” E-discussion on the World We Want Platform 
The fulfillment of girls’ right to education is first and foremost an obligation and moral imperative – and there is no compelling reason as to why millions of girls continue to be denied their rights. International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations in 2011 and celebrated annually on 11 October. In recognition of the importance of fresh and creative perspectives to propel girls’ education forward, the theme of International Day of the Girl Child for 2013 was announced: Innovating for Girls’ Education. 
As part of the series of events planned during the run-up to the day, especially to increase participation of young people, UNICEF together with the Youth Advocacy Group of the United Nations Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) conducted an e-discussion on the same theme on the World We Want online platform. Aimed to involve young people across the globe in a conversation around innovations and education, the e-discussion gathered and learned about inspiring innovative approaches, ideas and solutions from different parts of the world that helped improving girls' education, particularly of those most disadvantaged. 
Read the summary of this online consultation here
Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA)
Ending Hunger Challenge Badge
Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA) is delighted to announce the release of the Ending Hunger Challenge Badge! The Badge is designed to help educate children and young people about hunger in the world and ways to combat it. The Badge contains background information on hunger and the hungry, the right to food, causes of hunger, and actions that can be taken to end hunger. It also includes range of activities and ideas to stimulate learning and motivate children and young people to engage in efforts to end hunger.
Ending Hunger is 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, and youth leaders, especially Guides or Scout groups.
The Ending Hunger Challenge Badge PDF is available here:
For more information, or to subscribe to our mailing list, please email
DPI Azerbaijan
SG’s Envoy on Youth Visits Azerbaijan for the MUN SC Conference.
On 21 October, on the occasion of the first-ever international Model UN Security Council Conference to take place in Azerbaijan, the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi visited the country to participate in the opening session of the simulation programme, focused on the issue of cyber security. 
Azerbaijan being the President of the Security Council this month, the young participants in Model UN in Baku come from all countries currently members of the Security Council. 
The simulation was co-organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sport of the Republic of Azerbaijan and UNDP Azerbaijan, with support from the UN's Department of Public Information.

Foundation of Young Australians (FYA)


Unleashed is an electrifying two-day summit set to trigger a social change explosion and build a strong community of young, vibrant social changemakers aged 16 to 26.

Do you have a passion for change? Unleashed is for volunteers, campaigners, innovators and social entrepreneurs. Find your tribe at Unleashed and connect with a national cohort of young social changemakers from around Australia.

The two-day summit will include a series of inspiring talks, collaborative workshops, and a “PitchUp” session full of fresh ideas! The summit will end with the Unleashed Awards, featuring Australia’s top changemakers and performers on stage at the Sydney Opera House.

More information:

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.


Youth matters: Equipping vulnerable young people with literacy and life skills

Youth matters: Equipping vulnerable young people with literacy and life skills is a policy brief published by the UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning. The publication focuses on challenges faced by vulnerable youth. Young people who have never been to school or those who have dropped out (or been “pushed out”) are among the most vulnerable. Being excluded from basic education puts a wide range of opportunities beyond their reach. In today’s world of disparities in social, economic and technological resources, this is not only limiting their life chances (including access to formal quality education, technical and vocational training and employment) but also their potential contribution to their own country’s development.

Find the brief here:


Sign up for Newsletter