Discussion
4 Mar - 22 Mar 2024

4. Youth and Future Generations

SparkBlue
SparkBlue • 29 February 2024

🌍 Welcome to the discussion room on Youth and Future Generations

This is the fourth chapter of the Pact for the Future that will be adopted at the Summit of the Future in September. 

The insights gathered from this consultation will contribute to the ECOSOC Youth Forum session titled: "Insights & Recommendations: The voices of Youth and Meaningful Youth Engagement in the Summit of the Future" at the ECOSOC Youth Forum (16-18 April 2024). They will also feed into the Voices of Youth Report and the global youth policy paper on Summit of the Future. 

This discussion room is open from March 4-22, 2024 and is moderated by Shannon Lisa (Chemicals and Waste Youth Platform at UN), Ahmed Owda (SCP Youth Constituency/Arab Youth Regional Platform), Kristina Balalovska (UNESCO) and Kiri Ginnerup (UNDP) .

Questions:

Youth:

  1. What are the main obstacles and risks for the meaningful youth engagement in multilateral and national decision-making, especially for young people and youth organizations in the global south? 
  2. What can be done to ensure support to youth-led constituencies and networks engaging in the UN system?
  3. How can standards be ensured, and UN system and Member State capacities reinforced, to ensure meaningful youth engagement in the multilateral system and in national decision-making? 
  4. Whar are some examples of meaningful youth engagement platforms and initiatives that have been successful in your perspective?
  5. How can we ensure that young people are engaged and their voices and solutions integrated in the follow-up to the Pact, including the declaration for Future Generations?

Future generations:

  1. What are the major issues and risks relevant to youth today that should be reflected in the Declaration for future generations? 
  2. What challenges future generations will face and how can we avoid them or minimise their severity?
  3. How can we ensure that the Declaration is firmly anchored in an ethical framework, reflecting and protecting the rights of present and future generations alike? 
  4. What specific follow-up mechanisms should be envisaged by the Declaration, to ensure that its ambition matches follow-up?

Comments (125)

Kristina Balalovska
Kristina Balalovska Moderator

Hello all !

As week 3 of our youth consultations begins, I would like to summarize your contributions of last week. Let me recap those:

  • In terms of barriers for youth engagement, the issue of safety in some contexts came up, limited access to vital information and opportunities especially for youth in rural areas, and lack of cooperation from other stakeholders. Barriers are also posed by limited resources, lack of access to decision-making spaces, broader political and cultural barriers, insufficient capacity-building opportunities, and entrenched power dynamics that marginalize youth voices. 
  • In response, ideas for more engagement and support for youth include sustained financial and technical support for policies, projects and collaboration, including funding for initiatives and capacity-building and mentorship, as well as youth engagement strategies through social media platforms and cultural activities (e.g. young storytellers). Dedicated spaces within decision-making bodies to ensure meaningful participation were also highlighted as needed, as well as partnerships between governments and youth organizations to create inclusive and sustainable platforms for engagement. Reaching the unreached young people was a key idea on how to better engage youth. This can be through targeted outreach strategies by collaborating with existing young leaders and local community leaders, influencers, and creators to create content that resonates with underrepresented youth groups. 
  • Standards for youth engagement in the UN system and national decision-making processes can be ensured by developing guidelines and protocols outlining the roles and responsibilities of both youth participants and decision-makers; accompanied by capacity-building for youth leaders and Member States alike programmes.
  • Positive youth engagement examples were provided such as the African UN Youth Delegate Program; Embassy Advisory Boards, the Youth Delegate Program, the UN Major Group for Children and Youth, as well as various programs initiated by UN agencies and various youth-led campaigns addressing climate change, gender equality, and social justice issues. These initiatives have been successful in amplifying youth voices, influencing policy outcomes, and fostering collaboration between young people and decision-makers. Youth engagement needs and examples were also provided for a sector that we don’t often hear about – the maritime industry, through examples from the Office of the Youth in Maritime (YIMO).
  • To ensure that youth are engaged and into the follow-up to the Pact, including the Declaration for Future Generations, the accent was placed on their integration in relevant decision-making, and prioritization of youth-led solutions in policy implementation. It was also proposed to have a decentralized approach implement the Pact and ensure youth are included on the ground.
  • When reflecting on future generations, key challenges highlighted include climate change, inequality, human rights violations, access to education and healthcare, and social injustices such as stigma & discrimination amongst young people living with HIV.  To avoid or minimize the severity of these,  it is vital to implement proactive measures such as investing in quality education, promoting environmental sustainability, fostering economic opportunities, strengthening democratic institutions, and ensuring intergenerational equity in decision-making processes.

The discussions focused more on youth than on future generations, so let us perhaps focus on that segment of our discussions moving forward!  

For this week, let me turn over to your moderator for this week, Ahmed Owda. I look forward to continuing to read your contributions. Over to you Ahmed!

Ahmed Owda
Ahmed Owda Moderator

Thank you Ms. Kristina for the handover and for your efforts in summarizing week 3 and moderating it, Much appreciated. Ahmed  

 

Hala Alwagdani
Hala Alwagdani

Hello All,

My name is Hala Alwagdani, and I am a geologist and youth climate advocate. Super glad to be a part of this consultation !

I believe a significant obstacle to meaningful involvement of youth in multilateral decision-making lies in the influence of biased education and binary thinking. Through firsthand observation in numerous international forums, it's evident that young people often approach global issues with a focus on their personal and national perspectives, without fully considering the broader implications of proposed solutions on other nations. This tendency may stem from limited exposure to diverse experiences and global knowledge, leading to a narrow understanding of complex issues and their interconnectedness on a global scale. Consequently, this exacerbates the challenge of youth earning trust and respect as active participants in decision-making processes

In order for youth to be accepted and respected as agents of influence in the realm of global policy, there needs to be institutional and national efforts to raise global citizens that view, understand, and empathize with the concerns of others.  

A great example of meaningful youth engagement platforms are:
1) Global: Model UN that happens in many global schools and allows every youth participant to put themselves in another nation's shoes.

2) International: Youth 20 Summit- G20

3) Local: Ignited Voices, curated by the MiSK foundation in Saudi Arabia. 

Global citizenship is a term coined with the establishment of the United Nations in 1945 and is intrinsically linked to the principle of "leaving no one behind" as outlined in the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It enables youth to be have meaningful interactions that reduce the inherent and prevalent power dynamics that otherwise dominate global policy making today. 

Jonathan de León
Jonathan de León

Hola buen día soy 

  • Jonathan de León es un guatemalteco hombre cisgénero, Joven gay, líder, proactivo, entusiasta, comprometido con la salud emocional y mental del país, leal y creador e innovador de programas y procesos de desarrollo curricular y extracurricular que impacta a niñez, adolescencia y juventud. del país con iniciativas digitales y modernas que mejoran el potencial de cada individuo. Amante de la psicología, docente y con más de 45 diplomados en diferentes temáticas que lo convierten en un amante del aprendizaje y la enseñanza. Cuenta con un posgrado en atención a niñez víctima de violencia sexual. Dirijo una organización guatemalteca (centroamericana) llamada Jolu de Guatemala la cuál funde con los ejes principales en adolescencia, juventud, comunidad LGBT+ y salud mental, con enfoque en la prevención del suicidio. Tengo 28 años, mucho gusto mi Instagram es: @Jonavoluntario
Shannon Lisa
Shannon Lisa Moderator

Welcome Jonathan! Great to have you here, and I'm looking forward to reading your ideas below in response to the questions!

¡Bienvenido Jonathan! ¡Es genial tenerte aquí y espero leer tus ideas a continuación en respuesta a las preguntas!

Deemimah Liliura
Deemimah Liliura

1. What are the main obstacles and risks for meaningful youth engagement in multilateral and national decision-making, especially for young people and youth organizations in the global south?

Ans: Limited Resources: Youth organizations in the Global South often lack the financial resources, necessary to participate effectively in decision-making processes. This includes funding for travel, research, and capacity-building activities

Lack of Access to Information: Young people may struggle to access information about decision-making, including when and where meetings are taking place, what topics are being discussed, and how they can participate.

 

Shannon Lisa
Shannon Lisa Moderator

Welcome Deemimah - thank you for sharing these points, which I think you hit on some of the most fundamental reasons/barriers that limit youth participation in policymaking spaces. I'm thinking that being able to take time off of work or school commitments - during such a 'make it or break it time' as beginning a career or pursuing a diploma/degree is another layer to this, compared to, for example big, multi-national NGOs that pay their employees to engage at conferences - with it being part of their job description. What do you think about this? Are there some strategies to make this problem a little easier on youth? 

Jonathan de León
Jonathan de León

Juventud:

1. ¿Cuáles son los principales obstáculos y riesgos para una participación significativa de los jóvenes en la toma de decisiones multilaterales y nacionales, especialmente para los jóvenes y las organizaciones juveniles del sur global? 

OBSTACULOS:

  • Falta de voluntad política de incluir a los jóvenes en la discusión.
  • Falta de espacios significativos, intersectoriales, multidisciplinarios, multiétnicos, multilingüisticos, multisectoriales, inclusivos para las distintas juventudes.
  • Que se aplique y tome en consideración de manera directa, clara y sincera la opinión.

RIESGOS:

  • Persecución política por hablar en contra del sistema.
  • Presión mediática y psicoemocional.
  • Prisión 
  • Asesinato
  • Limitaciones en leyes 
  • Sanciones a instituciones
Shannon Lisa
Shannon Lisa Moderator

✅️ "Lack of significant, intersectoral, multidisciplinary, multiethnic, multilingual, multisectoral, inclusive spaces for different youth." - what an excellent point! Chapter 4 needs to make sure that children and young people are not framed as a homogenous group; but foster meaningful engagement of youth in all their diversity! I think this speaks directly to the messaging of Agenda2030 as well, "leaving no one behind." What does leaving no one behind mean to you in the context of youth engagement specifically?

"Falta de espacios significativos, intersectoriales, multidisciplinarios, multiétnicos, multilingües, multisectoriales, inclusivos para la juventud diferente." - ¡Qué excelente punto! El capítulo 4 debe garantizar que los niños y los jóvenes no sean considerados un grupo homogéneo; ¡pero fomente la participación significativa de los jóvenes en toda su diversidad! Creo que esto también habla directamente del mensaje de la Agenda 2030: "no dejar a nadie atrás". ¿Qué significa para usted no dejar a nadie atrás en el contexto de la participación juvenil específicamente?

Jonathan de León
Jonathan de León

2. ¿Qué se puede hacer para garantizar el apoyo a los grupos y redes liderados por jóvenes que participan en el sistema de las Naciones Unidas?

  • Mapearles
  • Identificarles
  • Escucharles
  • Protegerles 
  • Extraerles y reubicar de ser necesario
  • Apoyo en el proceso de legalización de colectivos y organizaciones para mayor fortaleza en los procesos de accionar institucional.
Shannon Lisa
Shannon Lisa Moderator

🌟 Thank you Jonathan - I'm interested in your point on "Support in the legalization process of groups and organizations for greater strength in institutional action processes" - accreditation within UN processes / formal legal recognition by a national government can be a challenge for grassroots organizations / youth-led organizations. What measures can be put in place specifically for these groups to ease those lengthy, requirement-heavy "administrative" processes?

 

Gracias Jonathan. Me interesa su punto sobre "Apoyo en el proceso de legalización de grupos y organizaciones para una mayor fortaleza en los procesos de acción institucional". La acreditación dentro de los procesos de la UN/el reconocimiento legal formal por parte de un gobierno nacional puede ser un desafío para las organizaciones de base. / organizaciones lideradas por jóvenes. ¿Qué medidas se pueden implementar específicamente para estos grupos para facilitar esos procesos "administrativos" largos y exigentes?

Jonathan de León
Jonathan de León

3. ¿Cómo se pueden garantizar las normas y reforzar las capacidades del sistema de las Naciones Unidas y de los Estados miembros para garantizar una participación significativa de los jóvenes en el sistema multilateral y en la toma de decisiones nacionales? 

  • Promover que en convenios o tratados internacionales, la creación de ministerio de juventud con suficiente competencia para la ejecución de presupuesto nacional para programas de juventud. En el caso de Guatemala solo se tiene un consejo que no puede ejecutar, solamente monitorea y aconseja.
  • Un programa de ONU especializado en juventud como UNICEF para niñez.
Jonathan de León
Jonathan de León

4. ¿Cuáles son algunos ejemplos de plataformas e iniciativas significativas de participación juvenil que, desde su punto de vista, han tenido éxito?

  • Desconozco de iniciativas o plataformas que han tenido éxito, hay algún ejemplo que nos puedan dar?
Jonathan de León
Jonathan de León

5. ¿Cómo podemos garantizar que los jóvenes participen y que sus voces y soluciones se integren en el seguimiento del Pacto, incluida la Declaración para las Generaciones Futuras?

  • Voluntad política
  • Representatividad con un consejo de juventud
  • Un programa de ONU especializado en temas de juventud
  • Monitoreo de las organizaciones promotoras por que se cumpla
  • Firma de convenio o tratado que establezca la participación en la toma de decisiones y las juventudes.
Jonathan de León
Jonathan de León

Generaciones futuras:

  1. ¿Cuáles son las principales cuestiones y riesgos relevantes para los jóvenes de hoy que deberían reflejarse en la Declaración para las generaciones futuras? 
  • La no regulación de la tecnología y sus riesgos.
  • La no actualización del sistema educativo.
  • La falta de cumplimiento derechos humanos básicos. 
  • La falta de oportunidades laborales.
  • La falta de capacitación para el desarrollo de emprendimientos.
  • Todo lo relacionado a seguridad.
  • En Guatemala la carencia del sistema universitario gratuito y de calidad para la promoción del desarrollo académico.
  • En el caso de Guatemala la protección a defensoras y defensores de derechos jóvenes.  
Shannon Lisa
Shannon Lisa Moderator

Welcome everyone!

I am so happy to join you as your moderator for week 1 in our discussion group on Chapter 4 - Youth and Future Generations! 

My name is Shannon Lisa, I'm a young investigator of polluted sites in the United States and the Global Focal Point of the Chemicals and Waste Youth Platform of MGCY.

It is wonderful to see some great ideas shared in the chat already - you beat me to it! Please keep it up! 

The Pact for the Future is OUR document as children and youth - we need it to take full advantage of the opportunity presented to reinvent systems of governance on the global scale, and put the priorities, recommendations and visions of young people at its center, who will be the ones to see through the implemented changes of the Pact across our lifetimes. As such, one of the most important chapters to shift and strengthen how the UN works with children and youth is Chapter 4. 

For our conversation this week, please pick at least one question to respond to in the comments from each of the two sections shared above to start igniting our conversation for Chapter 4 and the Declaration for Future Generations.

Can't wait to hear from and meet more of you in this space!

Should you have any questions, please reach out to:

[email protected] 

Jonathan de León
Jonathan de León

2. ¿Qué desafíos enfrentarán las generaciones futuras

  • Un sistema fallido mundialmente
  • Dificultades medioambientales
  • Enfermedades pandémicas
  • Mal sistema nacional
  • Problemas psicoemocionales 
  • Falta de seguridad
  • Falta de oportunidades equitativas
  • Carencia en los sistemas de salud, educación, trabajo, vivienda y demás

y cómo podemos evitarlos o minimizar su gravedad?

  • Tomándoles en cuenta en los espacios de decisiones y generación de ideas de solución. 
  • Fortaleciendo los sistemas de monitoreo de seguimiento a los convenios y tratados internacionales para su ejecución en los países. 
Jonathan de León
Jonathan de León

3. ¿Cómo podemos garantizar que la Declaración esté firmemente anclada en un marco ético que refleje y proteja los derechos de las generaciones presentes y futuras por igual? 

  • Voluntad política
Vafa Abdullayeva-Nabiyeva
Vafa Abdullayeva-Nabiyeva

One of the main problems of Youth is happiness. Whatever you do, whoever you are, if you are not happy in this position, job, place it is meaningless to do anything. Unhappy person can't make happy social circle. Problems always were, are and will be. First we have to have power for struggle with these problems. For power we need healthy and soul, mind. 

So what make us happy? Let's make ourselves happy for making the World happy.

Shannon Lisa
Shannon Lisa Moderator

Hi Vafa! 🌟 Following your point, how can young people who make a lot of personal sacrifices to work on community-based projects and initiatives meaningful to them, but that receive little institutional or financial resourcing, be better supported? How can this be reflected in the Pact? What do you think is the role of youth in making this Pact for the Future more locally relevant?

Annika Maurer
Annika Maurer

Hi Vafa,

I agree with you that happiness or at least content is very important. And I think you can find it anywhere when you find it within you and feel purpose and belonging in your community.

And I also think that exactly this 'un-happiness', this frustration of youth with the status-quo and the society that was build by and for past generations is what makes youth such great agents of change.

The key point lies in finding a good catalyst for this drive to find happiness and make the world a better place. Without opportunities to change anything youth might turn their frustration to violence, but if we give youth the right tools and visibility, this desire for a meaningful future will be the energy we need to attain the goals of the agenda 2030!

Ray
Ray

Main obstacles and risks for meaningful youth engagement in multilateral and national decision-making, especially for young people and youth organizations in the global south, are 

1. youth from marginalized communities, such as indigenous populations, ethnic minorities, and rural areas, face intersecting forms of discrimination and exclusion that impede their participation in decision-making 

2. In many countries in the global south, authoritarian regimes and restrictive government policies suppress dissent, limit freedom of expression, and crackdown on civil society organizations, including youth-led initiatives

3. struggle with limited resources, funding, and institutional capacity, hindering their ability to engage in decision-making processes effectively, lacking the skills, knowledge, and networks needed to participate meaningfully in multilateral and national forums

Shannon Lisa
Shannon Lisa Moderator

Great inputs, Ray! Let's think about what ways the Pact could make sure to address differences in experiences and treatment of young people in the multilateral system; and not looking at "children and youth" as a homogenous group? How can it support collective voices, not just the voices of the most visible few?

Ohiwa Jeniffer
Ohiwa Jeniffer

I am grateful to be here to share my voice with the youth and future generations. As someone passionate about living a purposeful life, I believe young people must be mentored to understand their purpose. This will help create a generation of passionate individuals who strive to make the world a better place by pursuing their purpose. We need to start a conversation that focuses on tapping into our inner power and awakening the gift within us. By doing so, we can start creating solutions today for a better tomorrow.

Corinna Nawatzky
Corinna Nawatzky

5. How can we ensure that young people are engaged and their voices and solutions integrated in the follow-up to the Pact, including the declaration for Future Generations?

Last year, during the high-level week of the UN General Assembly my organization, together with many others, launched the Uniting Generations guide - a resource to more inclusive and intergenerational convening. Not only does it offer a very simple checklist of how to meaningfully engage all generations in the process of convening an event, before during and after. It also includes a case for why meaningful intergenerational collaboration is crucial, a glossary with our take on concepts like "power" or "convening" and why they matter, as well as case studies of how power can be shared in convening spaces.

I think it could offer a great resource to properly engage youth voices and ensure their ideas are properly included. Happy to answer any questions about it, too! :)

A picture of the cover of the guide. It reads "Uniting Generations and Sharing Power to Transform Education". It shows five people of different ages, with different skin colours, wearing diverse outfits.

Shannon Lisa
Shannon Lisa Moderator

🌟 This is great, Corinna - thanks so much for sharing! I've only just begun diving into the guide, but it is such a timely (and I'll say, action-dense!) resource! What would you say are the top 3 key messages from the guide that should be made more visible in the SOTF process / taken forward into the Pact?  

Normel Bermundo
Normel Bermundo

Youth are being left behind in terms of participation in a international level, Youth are the hope of each nation for incoming generation. Youth are need to be included in policy making , those policy that are being made ethier in National or international arena it will impact the youth since they are the next generation who will experience the impact of those policies in the near future. We demand that the youth to be included in the policy making process  and our voice to be heard , although  we saw some effort but it is not enough. The youth need to have a collective action to advance this right. And the UN Youth Office is one of the best avenue to do it. I hope that the UN youth office will have a youth group board in every country it should be composed of youth from different sector and not chosen by the government alone, this is to advance the youth rights of different sector of our society . Thank you!

Shannon Lisa
Shannon Lisa Moderator

🙌 A youth country office network! Loving the concept, Normel -- are there existing mechanisms like this in other UN or external processes you know of that might serve as a model/inspiration for how something like this could be setup? 

Normel Bermundo
Normel Bermundo

Hi, Shannon Lisa ,last year the UN Philippines adopt the Global Youth Advisory group on Human Rights  of the UN OHCHR, and they called it National Youth Advisory Group on Human Rights Philippines (NYAG) this is an initiative of the UN OHCHR for the HR75 last year. NYAG on HR Ph was compose of 10 people from different sector , different background (for example  me , I am  a youth in School and Eviroment) , and civil society organizations. This 10 people represent the different youth sector of society ( Environment, Indigenous people , stundents, women and LGBTQIA+ community etc. It could be a model of the this suggestion.

Christina Kontomichalou
Christina Kontomichalou

Question 2 & 3 (Youth):

Firstly, thank you for providing this incredible platform for youth voices. As a young founder, I have firsthand experience with the potential of youth to contribute to progress within and outside the UN system. However, I've also witnessed young people's challenges in securing sustained and meaningful support. Here is what I believe can be done to address these matters:

The UN should invest in capacity-building for youth-led organizations, as they often have innovative ideas but lack the resources and networks to materialize or scale their impact. The UN can provide critical capacity-building programs for youth working on diverse issues. Tailored programs to elevate youth-led advocacy and inclusion in multilateral discourse would be essential.

Further, standards for engagement should be created with youth, not just for youth. Transparent ways to assess the effectiveness of engagement could encompass sustained youth feedback mechanisms beyond consultations. This co-creation involves a genuine sharing of power and acknowledges that young people are the experts on their own lived experiences. 

Lastly, developing institutionalized pathways for youth participation at all levels should be prioritized. The UN can integrate young people's voices into decision-making processes by increasing youth seats on governing boards and advisory committees. The UN Youth Envoy and the MGCY can particularly spearhead these actions, such as connecting youth with relevant UN bodies, facilitating capacity-building initiatives, and holding Member States accountable for meaningful youth inclusion.

I, along with fellow youth worldwide, have many more insights and innovative ideas to share, and I urge the UN and its Member States to embrace us as equal partners. The Summit of the Future and the accompanying Pact can become groundbreaking instruments championing the inclusion of youth. To make this a reality, let's move beyond viewing youth as beneficiaries and invest in ensuring we are co-creators of the solutions we need.

Shannon Lisa
Shannon Lisa Moderator

Welcome Christina! 😊 Thank you for bringing your experience here! As a follow-up, what capacity-building topics for youth in the UN system do you think are needed as a first priority?

"...standards for engagement should be created with youth, not just for youth" - this is such a core element of meaningful youth engagement you shared as well, it calls to mind MGCY's publication on Principles and Barriers for Meaningful Youth Engagement - a resource accessible here for all those interested: https://www.unmgcy.org/meaningful-engagement

Mwansa Chanda
Mwansa Chanda

Yes I'll firstly say it's nice to be heard and thank you for giving me the chance. In my forcus I'll firstly ask are we putting as much effort to reach out to the people or maybe it's a research thing and I find. So I coming back to Zambia and with what I have seen youths are facing many challenges let's talk about advertising I won't lie but many are the times I have come across adverts talking about a snack or artist(musician) music full of insults songs carrying no message in them yet those are things becoming popular but let's talk about the UN and these are productive activities we talking about not only the UN. Unless I search then I find so what am trying to say is that let's inhence our advertising methods cause we can even tell or go out there and sensitize the people youths in specific we can even use flyers, billboards, comedy advertise but with a message to attract the youths to it. In this case cause me personally it took me interest to come across this. Then we also need people or youths in general who have the love for others not the benefits the UN can give you. Starting from the uneducated never forget we leave for one another let's not normalize the say it's only through connection's. And coming back to the challenges with what's been broadcasted I gave an example bad music that's what most people access and this is not just music but nude and insults and this which threatens me as fellow human cause I believe what we see, what we hear and what we read is what makes us who we are. So think for a minute about people who are failing to access such knowledge maybe because of illiteracy, lack of electronic devices and  and or these platforms then what about them will they be heard but don't forget again these are the same people who later make it in life but with a little knowledge why do I say so I'll leave it here tough time create strong men and these men create easy times but does that mean they have knowledge no and so these are successful people with inhuman behavior and so with such I expect less for the future. Unless people with the passion are into force and if we take 100% action to involve both,  educated and uneducated, poor and the rich with the principal of difference in perspective thank you.

Kristina Balalovska
Kristina Balalovska Moderator

Thank you Chanda for giving such a vivid argument on why we need to believe in ALL young people, and it is ALL young people that can bring something to the table. 

Yrhen Bernard Sabanal Balinis
Yrhen Bernard Sabanal Balinis

Youth

Answer No. 1:

An inadequate holistic approach and representation in all of the work forces. The transportation sector especially the maritime sector accounting to up to 3% GHG emmissions. The youth in maritime should and must be included in forums like these. 

Answer No. 4:

The Office of the Youth in Maritime (YIMO) A continuation of the projects started during the previous term as an International Maritime 

Organization (IMO) Goodwill Maritime Ambassador and supported by other organizations, the overarching goal of the Office is to have ACCESS:

1. Advocacy and Policy Influence. Advocate for policies that support the interests and needs of youth in the maritime sector. Actively participate in discussions and decision-making processes related to maritime policies at local, national, and international levels.

2. Community and Global Outreach. Engage with local communities to raise awareness about the importance of the maritime industry. Organize outreach programs and events to connect with youth in the Philippines. Provide opportunities for youth to participate in global maritime forums and events.

3. Career and Education Guidance. Provide career mentorship and guidance for youth interested in pursuing maritime careers and those starting in their journey acknowledging the expertise of the more experienced maritime professionals to bridge the intergenerational divide.

4. Engagement and Volunteerism. Increase youth awareness and involvement in maritime activities at both local and international levels. Establish and maintain platforms for youth to express their views and contribute ideas to the maritime sector.

5. Skills Development. Promote maritime education and training programs for young individuals. Facilitate partnerships with maritime higher educational institutions, and related institutions to enhance maritime-related curricula.

6. SDGs Enabler. To support the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with special emphasis on SDGs 3 (Good Health and Well-being), 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality), 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), 10 (Reduced Inequalities), 13 (Climate Action), 14 (Life Below Water), 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

-Yrhen Bernard Sabanal Balinis, Director, Office of the Youth in Maritime (YIMO)

bit.ly/m/Yrhen_Bernard

 

Kristina Balalovska
Kristina Balalovska Moderator

Thank you Yrhen for drawing everyone's attention to the youth engagements needs and examples in a sector that may often be set aside. - the maritime industry. To link our two themes together - youth and future generations - how do you think the maritime industry can integrate longer-term considerations to have a better impact on the future, including through the programmes on youth that you are promoting? Are there any examples on that?  

Kristina Balalovska
Kristina Balalovska Moderator

Hi everyone!

Welcome to this second week of youth consultations on Chapter 4 - Youth and Future Generations! 

I am Kristina Balalovska, from UNESCO's Youth Programme, where I work notably on youth engagement issues, youth stakeholder capacity-building, as well as on the Summit of the Future and its Declaration for Future Generations.

Let's see where the discussions take us this week, following your great inputs from last week (of which we will have a summary any time now - to help us move forward)! 

Let me know if you need any clarifications in this space. 

Kristina 

Sechaba Obegang Senwelo
Sechaba Obegang Senwelo

4.What are some examples of meaningful youth engagement platforms and initiatives that have been successful in your perspective?

Ans: Online platforms - The utilization of social media platforms to engage young people in discussions like these, activism, and cultural exchange.

- creating platforms for young creatives to showcase their talents, express themselves and raise awareness on relevant issues e.g. an open call for young storytellers to submit digital content from LLDC countries.

 

Kristina Balalovska
Kristina Balalovska Moderator

Thank you Sechaba! One challenge we often see is reaching the young people that are rarely reached, in an effort to Leave No Youth Behind. How have you made sure to reach such youth groups through the platforms you mention? 

Sechaba Obegang Senwelo
Sechaba Obegang Senwelo

Kristina Balalovska  To ensure we reach young people who are often overlooked we employ targeted outreach strategies by collaborating with local community leaders, influencers, and creators to create content that resonates with underrepresented youth groups, addressing their unique interests and concerns thereby ensuring inclusivity and representation across our platforms. 

 

Abdinasir Addow
Abdinasir Addow

Youth  and Future generations No Summit can call itself of the future, if it doesn´t place young voices and the interest of young people at its core. We would like to acknowledge the Secretary-General’s policy brief on Meaningful Youth Engagement in Policymaking and Decision-making Processes and express our full support to the thoughtful analysis and recommendations that it provides.  

 

As an intergovernmental organization with the mandate to advance democracy worldwide, we fully concur with the view that young people are drivers of both innovation and social change. We have seen this globally in recent years, as young people come out on the streets to demand change and transformative action to address the critical challenges of our time, like climate change, racial injustice, and gender equality. Young people challenge the status quo and bring new ideas, approaches and solutions to solve the world’s most intractable problems.  

 

As agents of change, young people are central to healthy and vibrant democracy in the present. They are also the leaders  tomorrow. 

 

As an intergovernmental organization with the mandate to advance democracy worldwide, we fully concur with the view that young people are drivers of both innovation and social change. We have seen this globally in recent years, as young people come out on the streets to demand change and transformative action to address the critical challenges of our time, like climate change, racial injustice, and gender equality. Young people challenge the status quo and bring new ideas, approaches and solutions to solve the world’s most intractable problems.  

 

As agents of change, young people are central to healthy and vibrant democracy in the present. They are also the leaders of tomorrow. But, as the Secretary-General’s policy brief notes, they are too often absent from formal political decision-making processes and institutions..Also, it should be stated in the Constitution of the country that the percentage of those who have the right to represent whether it is the Legislature and the Executive

Shannon Lisa
Shannon Lisa Moderator

🌟 Let's warmly welcome Kristina, who is guiding us through our Week 2 discussions as lead moderator. Together let's build upon the really outstanding ideas and resources shared during Week 1! 

To recap:

  • When it comes to barriers experienced by children and youth, especially marginalized  youth, in engaging in the multilateral system, main points shared included: lack of access to financial and institutional support; information about how to participate in negotiations/decision-making processes being hard to access, understand or tending to remain in circles of those 'already in the know;' having to sacrifice personal resources / time at work or school to be able to attend conferences; grassroots youth groups experiencing challenges with getting accredited to different UN process due to requirement-heavy applications; lack of travel/visa support; many UN processes having no formalized/targeted youth engagement system, especially in regards to the participation of children under 18. ðŸš©
  • The meaning of meaningful youth engagement was discussed - that to be meaningful, we must engage youth in all of their diversity, and not view young people as a single, homogeneous group. Additionally, the role of collective, universal youth constituencies and networks must be strengthened in the UN system, going beyond tokenization and individualization, and creating genuine space for self-organized, youth-led agenda setting and influence. ðŸŽ¯
  • The idea of creating networks of UN youth country offices, modeled after similar structures in OHCHR, UN Women, and others was shared. ðŸŒï¸
  • Additionally, participants provided links to additional resources that may inform the collective youth recommendations/priorities for Chapter 4 and the Declaration on Future Generations, including MGCY's Principles and Barriers for Meaningful Youth Engagement (https://www.unmgcy.org/meaningful-engagement) and Salzburg Global Seminar, Big Change and their partner organizations' Uniting Generations and Sharing Power to Transform Education (https://neweducationstory.big-change.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Uniting-Generations-and-Sharing-Power-to-Transform-Education_2023.pdf) ðŸ“–

Let's pick up our discussion on these great inputs during Week 2 with our moderator, Kristina! I look forward to continuing to read and explore your ideas and experiences with all of you!

Together in continuing to build a UN that "Hears Our Voice!"

- Shannon ðŸ§ªðŸ’š

Kristina Balalovska
Kristina Balalovska Moderator

Thank you dear Shannon for this great recap! There have been a few excellent contributions on the obstacles, ideas on how to ensure youth engagement with the UN in countries on the ground, and reflections on what a standard of meaningful youth engagement means, that can build on existing resources (and let me also share here a UNESCO tool endorsed by the IANYD and used by some entities to reinforce staff capacities on MYE: Meaningfully-engaging-youth-Guidance-training-UN-staff.pdf). 

In the meantime, there have also been some examples of successful meaningful youth engagement initiatives and platforms. 

One follow-up question: how do we turn this into practice for the Pact, to ensure that youth are engaged and their solutions integrated in the Pact's follow-up?

Also, shall we turn the discussion now also a bit more on future generations? What are according to you the key issues and risks relevant to youth today that should be reflected in the Declaration for Future Generations? 

Looking forward to your ideas and reflections! 

Salma Bnouhachem
Salma Bnouhachem

Youth : 

1- According to my little experience; Most associations in the global south are directed by old people and the decision making is made by them so many ideas and identities are rejected. Therefore, The dangers and risks are very significant. Knowing that some identities are criminalised thus, the help of international entities and embassies become needed sometimes. Moreover, there is a lack of recourses on very important topics and ways of working on them.  

2- What i think can be done by UN entities is to protect those youth lead associations through giving them online safe spaces or provide the youth led associations with places where to speak about their struggles, realities and identities and work on their projects safely. Moreover, it will be good to provide them with trainings and workshops on working safely when working on certain topics.  

 

Kristina Balalovska
Kristina Balalovska Moderator

Thank you Salma. So safety is a big issue that comes up here and thank you for pointing that out.   Any ideas from from discussion participants on how to avoid that young people in these cases do not only stay in their own (safe) spaces but channels of communication are also built with other stakeholders (social actors)?  

Kapwani Kavenuke
Kapwani Kavenuke

another risk is that they obviously see potential in youth but are afraid for the sake of job security that if we engage more then that means less opportunities for them 

Kapwani Kavenuke
Kapwani Kavenuke

1. What are the main obstacles and risks for the meaningful youth engagement in multilateral and national decision-making, especially for young people and youth organizations in the global south? 

Some of the barriers hindering youth engagement includes limited access to vital information and opportunities especially for the youth in rural areas. Moreover, even when we have access to these opportunities or information  genuine platforms for amplifying youthful voices in decision-making realms are scarce and there is also a lack of cooperation from those experienced stakeholders and are sometimes reluctant to engage youth. We recognize the value of guidance as much as they appreciate fresh perspectives. The youth embody innovation, and the future is ours we need to be a part of actively changing policies and not merely  just advising. 

2. What can be done to ensure support to youth-led constituencies and networks engaging in the UN system?

To empower youth-led initiatives within the UN system, we advocate for sustained financial support for projects and earnest collaboration from agencies and other UN bodies. Through consistent funding and genuine partnership, youth-led endeavors can thrive, fostering meaningful contributions to global affairs.

3. How can standards be ensured, and UN system and Member State capacities reinforced, to ensure meaningful youth engagement in the multilateral system and in national decision-making? 

Ensuring meaningful youth engagement demands and necessitates a commitment to translating resolutions into action. We need proactive measures to ensure that resolutions advocating for youth involvement are not just ink on paper but guiding principles actively embraced and implemented by member states.

 

4. What are some examples of meaningful youth engagement platforms and initiatives that have been successful in your perspective?

-The African United Nations Youth Delegate Program in support with the United Nations Association of Tanzania is a program that has brought hope for the youth in the East African Communities. the Program is part of a regional movement implemented in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda. The main aim is to increase representation of the youth from East Africa at the United Nations.

-Embassy Advisory Boards, such as the European Union Advisory Board, serve as invaluable platforms for youth to voice their aspirations and contribute to meaningful change on a global scale.

-Various programs initiated by UN agencies have successfully engaged youth in diverse sectors, demonstrating the immense potential of meaningful youth participation in shaping our collective future.

 

5. How can we ensure that young people are engaged and their voices and solutions integrated in the follow-up to the Pact, including the declaration for Future Generations?

  • Establish genuine platforms for youth participation in decision-making processes 
  • Foster intergenerational collaboration 
  • Actively involve youth in decision-making processes
  • Recognize and value the innovative perspectives of young people
  • Implement mechanisms for accountability and follow-up on youth engagement initiatives and follow up on resolutions made
  • Track progress on commitments made regarding youth involvement
  • Provide opportunities for continuous feedback and dialogue between youth and decision-makers
Kristina Balalovska
Kristina Balalovska Moderator

Thank you Kapwani for taking the time to provide valuable insights to each of the questions! I take note of the need to ensure the unreached are reached with information and included - this is something that we all struggle with and we should think of concrete mechanisms for multilateral processes. Any suggestions?

Indeed, the need for financial support for youth initiatives is always on the table, and there needs to be a solid funding mechanism for this, both at global and national levels.

Yes, great point on the need to track progress on youth engagement in the Pact!

Kapwani Kavenuke
Kapwani Kavenuke

Thank you Kristina. Yes, well i believe that making use of the youth leaders that we have already to be able to communicate information to areas lacking reciept of it and also this is a call for innovation and technology advancement. Because some people dont even have a burner phone or radios. but for those who have access to technology most are not aware of these platforms that encourage youth in decision making so basically as youth leaders we need to branch out and have holistic outreach programs. 

Inam Ullah
Inam Ullah

Hello everyone 
this is Inam Ullah from Pakistan
I am grateful to be here to share my voice with the youth and future generations. As someone passionate about living a purposeful life, I believe young people must be mentored to understand their purpose. This will help create a generation of passionate individuals who strive to make the world a better place by pursuing their purpose. We need to start a conversation that focuses on tapping into our inner power and awakening the gift within us. By doing so, we can start creating solutions today for a better tomorrow.
we need to seek new skills 

Kristina Balalovska
Kristina Balalovska Moderator

Welcome Inam! And thank you for highlighting the need to empower youth through mentoring. Do you have any specific ideas or projects in mind? 

Ali ALKHARJI
Ali ALKHARJI

Hello Kristina ! I am Ali ALKHARJI, I am a master student in Paris and I am very interested to work with the youth delegation at UNESCO because I want to develop this program and project to make the youth leaders are more successful into the world heritage and history 😊.

Kristina Balalovska
Kristina Balalovska Moderator

Welcome Ali. Let us use this space for the discussion. Don't hesitate to share your insights on any of the questions above. In the rest, don't hesitate to contact me through my UNESCO mail

ESPOIR BALANGALIZA
ESPOIR BALANGALIZA

Kristina,

 

Vous pouvez m'écrire in box,

Je suis Espoir Balangaliza Ambassadeur du climat, de la Paix,délégué de la jeunesse de la RDC à l'union africaine , point focal de l'Afrique de l'Est du forum économique des diasporas FED et Représentant pays du Réseau espace Climat-RDC.

 

Nous avons des projets de la jeunesse dans ce sens à l'union africaine et en RDC dans le réseau espace Climat-RDC.

 

Vous pouvez me laisser un commentaire.

 

[email protected]

 

Merci 

ESPOIR BALANGALIZA
ESPOIR BALANGALIZA

Je propose aux représentants de la jeunesse dans les agences de Nations-Unies de notifier les jeunes actifs et leaders dans chaque régions et pays au poste de la jeunesse et faire une décentralisation avant le sommet futur,

Cela pourra faciliter la participation de la jeunesse dans chaque délégation de Nations-Unies et propose des solutions d'ensemble dans chaque pays.

 

Nous sommes disponibles.

Fabrice Adelphe BALOU
Fabrice Adelphe BALOU

Je me nomme Fabrice Adelphe BALOU, responsable Afrique du Pôle Jeunesse GSEF (Global Forum for Social and Solidarity Economy).

Je voudrais souligner que les jeunes expriment un désir croissant d'utilité sociale, c'est-à-dire "être utiles" et cherchent la "réalisation de soi".

Or, les jeunes qui sont dans une phase de transition, font un ensemble de choix qui ont des incidences sur leur environnement. L’Economie Sociale et Solidaire (ESS), de par ses valeurs, permet dans sa démarche d’interpeller et d’encourager ces jeunes d’aujourd’hui et adultes de demain à devenir des citoyens modèles, aptes à contribuer à la construction d’une société plus juste, plus solidaire, orientant l’économie au service de l’humain, et participant à la prise de conscience collective. Ainsi, l'ESS joue un rôle significatif dans l'autonomisation des jeunes.

Dans cette perspective, plusieurs pays et des collectivités territoriales africaines ont adopté des politiques Jeunesse et ESS. Cependant, des défis subsistent, tels que l'accès au financement, à la formation et au suivi-encadrement, la coopération et la mutualisation.  

Sheillah Owade
Sheillah Owade

Hello Everyone,

I am Sheillah from Papua New Guinea. I have recently just joined. I am thrilled about the chance to contribute to eradicating global youth issues.

What is the topic in progress now for me to share my opinion?

 

Thank you.

Kristina Balalovska
Kristina Balalovska Moderator

Hi Sheillah! The discussion is mostly on obstacles for youth engagement, as well as some positive examples. However, the discussion around future generations is missing, so perhaps you would like to address some of those questions? 

Stevens MONTISSOL
Stevens MONTISSOL

Salut à tous,

Je suis Stevens MONTISSOL, un leader haïtien passionné et fortement engagé dans le domaine sociétal et l'entrepreneuriat, avec une passion pour l'innovation technologique. Mon engagement est centré sur la promotion de la culture numérique et l'inclusion numérique en Haïti et dans toute la Caraïbe.

En tant que professionnel aguerri du secteur technologique, mon objectif est de rendre les avancées numériques accessibles à tous. Mon parcours témoigne de ma dynamique, de ma créativité et de mon dévouement. En tant qu'enseignant engagé, je crois fermement au partage de mes connaissances, et mes interventions lors de conférences et de séminaires spécialisés ont impacté plus de 1000 participants  chaque ann de tous horizons.

Orienté vers l'avenir, mon ambition est de devenir un expert en intelligence artificielle tout en favorisant l'intégration technologique au service de ma communauté. Mon désir constant d'apprentissage et ma volonté de repousser mes limites alimentent ma quête pour contribuer de manière significative à l'évolution technologique et au bien-être collectif.

Les objectifs de développement durable 4, 5 et 9 résument bien la mission à laquelle je me dédie, avec mon engagement à impacter positivement ma communauté et à contribuer à façonner un monde où il fait bon vivre pour tous.

Kristina Balalovska
Kristina Balalovska Moderator

Bonjour Stevens et bienvenu! N'hésitez pas à partager avec nous vos idées en réponses aux questions posées, sur la base de votre experience et expertise.

Charles innocent Chinguwo
Charles innocent Chinguwo

Hie Am Charles Innocent Chinguwo from Malawi a member of UNITED! SRHR & HIV MOVEMENT also a member of Y+ Malawi/Y+ Global,

1. The primary challenges include limited resources, lack of access to decision-making spaces, political and cultural barriers, insufficient capacity-building opportunities, and entrenched power dynamics that marginalize youth voices. 
*To address these issues, it is crucial to provide financial and technical support to youth-led constituencies and networks engaging in the UN system. This support can include funding for initiatives, capacity-building programs, mentorship opportunities, and dedicated spaces within decision-making bodies to ensure meaningful participation.

Standards for youth engagement in the UN system and national decision-making processes can be ensured by developing clear guidelines and protocols outlining the roles and responsibilities of both youth participants and decision-makers. Furthermore, capacity-building efforts should focus on enhancing the skills and knowledge of youth leaders to effectively engage in policy discussions and advocacy campaigns. Member state capacities can be reinforced through training programs, awareness campaigns, and partnerships between governments and youth organizations to create inclusive and sustainable platforms for youth engagement.

Successful examples of meaningful youth engagement platforms and initiatives include the Youth Delegate Program, the UN Major Group for Children and Youth, and various youth-led campaigns addressing climate change, gender equality, and social justice issues. These initiatives have been successful in amplifying youth voices, influencing policy outcomes, and fostering collaboration between young people and decision-makers.

To ensure that young people are engaged and their voices are integrated into the follow-up to the Pact, including the declaration for Future Generations, it is essential to involve youth representatives in decision-making processes, create participatory platforms for youth consultation, and prioritize youth-led solutions in policy implementation. This can be achieved through intergenerational dialogues, advocacy campaigns, and mentorship programs that empower young people to take active roles in shaping their future.

When reflecting on the major issues and risks relevant to youth today in the Declaration for future generations, it is crucial to address key challenges such as climate change, inequality, human rights violations, access to education and healthcare, and social injustices such as stigma & discrimination amongst young people living with HIV. By highlighting these issues, the Declaration can serve as a blueprint for policymakers to prioritize youth-centered policies and create a sustainable future for upcoming generations.

To avoid or minimize the severity of challenges future generations may face, it is vital to implement proactive measures such as investing in quality education, promoting environmental sustainability, fostering economic opportunities, strengthening democratic institutions, and ensuring intergenerational equity in decision-making processes. By taking these steps.

Martina Milad
Martina Milad

Hi everyone,

This is Martina Kirolos, from Egypt.

I'm 23.

I will answer all the above questions related to the challenges that Egyptian youth are facing, as I'm one of them.

Youth Engagement:

  1. Obstacles/Risks: Main challenges include limited access to political processes and a lack of resources and capacity-building for youth in the Global South, particularly in Egypt.
  2. Supporting Youth-Led Initiatives: Enhancing support requires increased funding, mentorship, and capacity-building tailored to the unique context of Egyptian youth organizations.
  3. Ensuring Standards: To ensure meaningful engagement, the UN and Member States should standardize youth participation criteria and provide training and resources to Egyptian youth.
  4. Successful Platforms/Initiatives: Examples include the UN’s Youth Envoy’s initiatives and local Egyptian youth forums that facilitate direct dialogue with policymakers.
  5. Engagement in the Pact Follow-up: Integration of young Egyptians can be achieved through regular consultations and incorporating their solutions in policy planning and implementation.

Future Generations:

  1. Issues/Risks for Youth: Key issues include economic instability, limited job opportunities, and political restrictions impacting Egyptian youth’s future prospects.
  2. Challenges for Future Generations: Future challenges encompass climate change, water scarcity, and ensuring sustainable development aligned with Egypt’s growing population and urbanization.
  3. Ethical Framework in Declaration: The Declaration should include principles of equality, sustainability, and participatory governance to protect the rights and aspirations of Egyptian youth.
  4. Follow-up Mechanisms: It should establish clear, accountable, and transparent monitoring and evaluation processes, with active Egyptian youth participation in reviewing progress.
Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Hi Milena, thank you for sharing these insights on the challenges that young people face in Egypt. I noted that you point towards the local Egyptian youth forums that facilitate direct dialogue with policymakers as a promising practice and was wondering whether you would be able to share more on these? Do you know of any specific intiatives? 

Abdinasir Addow
Abdinasir Addow

 

 

 

 

Most of the problems facing today’s youth are not restricted to any one ethnic or religious group, but affect young people generally. Most discussions on youth have focussed on issues such as drug abuse, crime, violence, sexuality and poverty. In addition to these, today’s youth are afflicted by new challenges. 

 

These include:

 

1. An Identity Crisis: Who am I?

 

2. Lack of self confidence and low self esteem: I am worthless

 

3. A sense of hopelessness: Where am I going?

 

4. Confusion and ambiguity concerning moral issues: What is right and wrong?

 

5. The negative impact of the electronic media: Entertainment ?

 

6. Competitiveness in education: the uneven playing field: Excellence by …show more content…

 

As such the family and religion now have a minimal impact on the average youngster. The values emphasized today include individualism, Godlessness, materialism, secularism and rationalism. It is the youth who are encountering the most serious challenge to his/her faith under the impact of godless culture of modernity. 

 

Best minds in our society are not socialized by religious institutions. The emphasis is on competitiveness, academic success, career goals, income and social mobility Little or no attention is given to preparing tomorrows leadership. There is no emphasis is placed on critical thinking , problem solving. 

 

We are preparing followers, imitators conformists, and not leaders, innovators or problem solvers. 

 

The youth is being asked to give up certain family and social values that were an integral part of their identity, and adopt in its place a sense of self-alienation, and become a self-estranged imitator of everything "modern".

 

 

 

We need to pay close attention to the effects of secularism: confining the role of religion to the private domain of the individual and creating a dichotomy between "religious" and "worldly," between "private" and "public." It denies religion and its mediating institutions any public function and influence in shaping matters of public policy. 

 

 

 

Technology: internet and TV

 

We are witnessing a phenomenal advancement in technology over the last three decades, and our citizens are experiencing remarkable

 

Get Access

 

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So now we raise the question, what differentiates a religion-based government versus a secular one? In order to understand this question we must first take into account that there are no universally accepted guidelines for what constitutes a religion. However, there tend to be designated behaviors that are synonymous with religion such as specific practices, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, ethics, organizations, and the aspects that tend to be on the unquantifiable side such as supernatural, transcendental, or any spiritual elements. Taking these general standards into consideration, we can compare it with the definition of what a secular society entails. One manifestation of secularism is “asserting the right to be free from religious

 

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Stevens MONTISSOL
Stevens MONTISSOL

Réponses aux questions pour la Catégorie: Jeunesse 

1-R)

Les principaux obstacles et risques pour un engagement significatif des jeunes dans la prise de décision multilatérale et nationale pour moi sont :

  • Le manque d'accès à l'information et aux ressources nécessaires pour participer aux processus décisionnels.
  • Le manque de reconnaissance et de valorisation de la contribution des jeunes par les décideurs politiques.
  • Les barrières culturelles, sociales et économiques qui limitent la participation des jeunes, en particulier dans les pays du Sud.
  • Le manque de représentativité et d'inclusion des jeunes dans les processus décisionnels, en particulier pour les jeunes marginalisés et sous-représentés.
  • Le manque de compétences et d'expérience en matière de plaidoyer et de diplomatie pour influencer les processus décisionnels.

2-R) D'après moi on doit :

  • Renforcer les capacités des groupes d'intérêt et des réseaux dirigés par des jeunes en matière de plaidoyer et de diplomatie.
  • Fournir un soutien financier et logistique aux groupes d'intérêt et aux réseaux dirigés par des jeunes pour leur permettre de participer aux processus décisionnels.
  • Encourager les partenariats et la collaboration entre les groupes d'intérêt et les réseaux dirigés par des jeunes et les organisations internationales, les gouvernements et le secteur privé.
  • Promouvoir la reconnaissance et la valorisation de la contribution des jeunes dans les processus décisionnels.

3-R) Il faut :

  • Renforcer les mécanismes de participation des jeunes dans les processus décisionnels au sein des Nations Unies et des États membres.
  • Élaborer des politiques et des stratégies nationales pour promouvoir la participation des jeunes dans les processus décisionnels.
  • Former les fonctionnaires et les décideurs politiques à l'importance de l'engagement des jeunes dans les processus décisionnels.
  • Encourager la transparence et la responsabilité dans les processus décisionnels pour garantir la participation significative des jeunes.

4-R) Par exemple:

  • Le programme des jeunes leaders des Nations Unies.
  • Le Forum des jeunes de l'Union africaine.
  • Le Réseau des jeunes leaders pour le développement durable en Amérique latine et dans les Caraïbes.
  • Le Conseil consultatif des jeunes du Commonwealth.
  • Le Programme des jeunes ambassadeurs de l'Union européenne.

5-R) Il faut :

  • Encourager la participation des jeunes dans les processus de suivi et d'évaluation du Pacte.
  • Promouvoir la création de mécanismes de consultation des jeunes pour recueillir leurs avis et leurs solutions en matière de développement durable.
  • Encourager les partenariats et la collaboration entre les jeunes, les gouvernements, les organisations internationales et le secteur privé pour la mise en œuvre du Pacte.
  • Promouvoir la sensibilisation et l'éducation des jeunes aux enjeux du développement durable.
  • Renforcer les capacités des jeunes en matière de plaidoyer et de diplomatie pour influencer les processus décisionnels liés au Pacte.                                                                                                 Stevens MONTISSOL,Haïti 
Stevens MONTISSOL
Stevens MONTISSOL

Réponses aux questions pour la Catégorie : Générations Futures

1-R) Les principaux problèmes et risques liés à la jeunesse d'aujourd'hui qui devraient être reflétés dans la Déclaration pour les générations futures d'après moi sont :

  • Le chômage et le sous-emploi des jeunes.
  • Le manque d'accès à une éducation et une formation de qualité.
  • Les inégalités sociales et économiques.
  •  Les défis environnementaux tels que le changement climatique, la perte de biodiversité et la pollution.
  • Les conflits et l'instabilité politique.
  • La santé mentale et physique des jeunes.

2-R) Les défis auxquels les générations futures seront confrontées : 

  • Les défis environnementaux tels que le changement climatique, la perte de biodiversité et la pollution.
  • Les inégalités sociales et économiques croissantes.
  • Les conflits et l'instabilité politique.
  • Les avancées technologiques rapides et leur impact sur le marché du travail.
  • La gestion des ressources naturelles limitées.

Pour éviter ou minimiser la gravité de ces défis, nous pouvons :

  • Promouvoir le développement durable et la transition vers une économie verte.
  • Encourager l'éducation et la formation tout au long de la vie pour s'adapter aux changements technologiques.
  • Promouvoir la paix, la sécurité et la stabilité politique.
  • Encourager la coopération internationale pour relever les défis mondiaux.
  • Promouvoir l'égalité des chances et l'inclusion sociale.

3-R) Pour cela nous pouvons:

  • Élaborer la Déclaration en consultation avec les parties prenantes, y compris les jeunes et les générations futures.
  • Fonder la Déclaration sur les principes éthiques universels tels que la dignité humaine, l'équité, la justice et la responsabilité.
  • Intégrer les droits de l'homme et les principes de développement durable dans la Déclaration.
  • Assurer la transparence et la responsabilité dans la mise en œuvre de la Déclaration.

4-R) Nous devons :

  • Établir des indicateurs clairs et mesurables pour suivre les progrès réalisés dans la mise en œuvre de la Déclaration.
  • Mettre en place un mécanisme de suivi et d'évaluation régulier pour évaluer les progrès réalisés et identifier les lacunes.
  • Encourager la participation des parties prenantes, y compris les jeunes et les générations futures, dans le suivi et l'évaluation de la Déclaration.
  • Assurer la transparence et la responsabilité dans la collecte et la diffusion des données de suivi.
  • Prévoir des mécanismes de responsabilisation pour garantir que les parties prenantes respectent leurs engagements en vertu de la Déclaration.

Stevens MONTISSOL

Haïti 

Ahmed Owda
Ahmed Owda Moderator

Greetings everyone, 

It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the final week of the Hear Our Voice consultations.

I would like to express my gratitude for all the valuable contributions made during the past two weeks. I extend my appreciation to my colleague, Ms. Kristina Balalovska, for summarizing the recaps of week three and to Ms. Shannon Elisa for moderation. Thank you Amazing team. 

 My name is Ahmed Owda, and I serve as the Global Focal Point of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SDG12) Constituency at the Major Group Children and Youth. As a medical doctor from Palestine, I am passionate about youth engagement and promoting their involvement at both national and international levels. 

I believe that we must prioritize the future of upcoming generations and ensure they have sustainable lives free of pollution and conflicts. Therefore, I am honored to moderate the consultations for Charter 4, "Youth and Future Generations," and engage in productive discussions to shape our future. To foster productive discussions, we have prepared a few guiding questions that can help us build our intervention and facilitate an open dialogue among all participants. Thank you for your attention, and I look forward to an engaging and fruitful consultation.

Youth:

  1. What are the main obstacles and risks for meaningful youth engagement in multilateral and national decision-making, especially for young people and youth organizations in the global south? 
  2. What can be done to ensure support to youth-led constituencies and networks engaging in the UN system?
  3. How can standards be ensured, and UN system and Member State capacities reinforced, to ensure meaningful youth engagement in the multilateral system and in national decision-making? 
  4. What are some examples of meaningful youth engagement platforms and initiatives that have been successful from your perspective?
  5. How can we ensure that young people are engaged and that their voices and solutions are integrated in the follow-up to the Pact, including the declaration for Future Generations?

Future generations:

  1. What are the major issues and risks relevant to youth today that should be reflected in the Declaration for future generations? 
  2. What challenges future generations will face and how can we avoid them or minimize their severity?
  3. How can we ensure that the Declaration is firmly anchored in an ethical framework, reflecting and protecting the rights of present and future generations alike? 
  4. What specific follow-up mechanisms should be envisaged by the Declaration, to ensure that its ambition matches follow-up?

Looking forward to your discussion and your insights 

Kind Regards 

Ahmed Owda 

 

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Hello everyone 👋🏻 I hope you've had a good week so far, wherever you are - and a warm welcome to the discussion on Youth and Future Generations!

I'm Kiri Ginnerup and I'm a part of the UNDP Global Youth team in New York, supporting the work on youth political participation and the Youth, Peace and Security agenda.

I'm joining Ahmed as a moderator on this final day of our discussion. It's been great listening in these past two+ weeks and hopefully we'll get even more inputs on this final day - please don't be shy to have your say on any of the guiding questions. 

Wycliffe Mponin
Wycliffe Mponin

Meaningful youth engagement in decision-making processes, both at the multilateral and national levels, is crucial for shaping a more inclusive and sustainable future. However, several obstacles and risks hinder effective participation of young people and youth organizations, particularly in the global south. Let’s explore these challenges:

  1. Visibility and Recognition:

    • Obstacle: Despite their energy and potential, young people often remain invisible in decision-making spaces. Their contributions are not fully recognized or valued.
    • Risk: When youth voices are ignored, policies and decisions may not adequately address their unique needs and concerns.
  2. Structural Barriers:

    • Obstacle: Age-related biases exist within institutions, making it difficult for young people to access decision-making platforms.
    • Risk: Exclusion perpetuates intergenerational inequities and limits the effectiveness of policies.
  3. Lack of Representation:

    • Obstacle: Youth representation in formal decision-making bodies is limited. Youth councils or parliaments often lack real influence.
    • Risk: Decisions made without diverse perspectives may fail to address youth-specific challenges.
  4. Capacity and Skills Gap:

    • Obstacle: Young people may lack the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to engage effectively.
    • Risk: Inadequate capacity hinders meaningful participation and limits the impact of youth-led initiatives.
  5. Resource Constraints:

    • Obstacle: Youth organizations in the global south often face financial and logistical challenges.
    • Risk: Limited resources hinder their ability to engage in advocacy, research, and policy formulation.
  6. Political Culture and Power Dynamics:

    • Obstacle: Hierarchical power structures may discourage youth participation.
    • Risk: Fear of reprisals or marginalization prevents young people from speaking out.
  7. Tokenism and Symbolic Participation:

    • Obstacle: Sometimes, youth involvement is reduced to mere tokenism, where they are included for appearance but not genuinely listened to.
    • Risk: Tokenistic engagement undermines meaningful impact and perpetuates cynicism.
  8. Communication Gaps:

    • Obstacle: Lack of effective communication channels between youth and decision-makers.
    • Risk: Misunderstandings and missed opportunities for collaboration.
  9. Policy Complexity:

    • Obstacle: Decision-making processes can be complex and bureaucratic.
    • Risk: Young people may feel overwhelmed or disengaged due to convoluted procedures.
  10. Stereotypes and Prejudices:

    • Obstacle: Negative stereotypes about youth can hinder their credibility.
    • Risk: Stereotypes may lead decision-makers to dismiss youth perspectives.

 Addressing these obstacles and mitigating associated risks is essential for fostering meaningful youth engagement in decision-making. By amplifying youth voices, investing in capacity-building, and creating inclusive spaces, we can build a more equitable and sustainable world for all. 

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Indeed - young people often remain largely excluded from political processes and civic engagement due to multi-faceted and -dimensional structural, socio-cultural, economic and legal barriers, many of which you point out above. I'm taking note also of your great inputs below on how to address these challenges - will respond below to those :) 

Wycliffe Mponin
Wycliffe Mponin

Supporting youth-led constituencies and networks engaging in the United Nations (UN) system is crucial for fostering meaningful participation and amplifying youth voices. Here are some actionable steps to ensure robust support:

  1. Institutional Recognition and Inclusion:

    • Advocate for Formal Representation: Encourage UN bodies and agencies to formally recognize youth-led organizations as legitimate stakeholders. Ensure their inclusion in decision-making processes, consultations, and conferences.
    • Designated Seats: Advocate for dedicated seats for youth representatives in UN forums, committees, and working groups. These seats should have voting rights and equal participation opportunities.
  2. Capacity Building and Training:

    • Skills Enhancement: Provide training programs on negotiation, advocacy, policy analysis, and leadership for youth leaders. Strengthen their capacity to engage effectively within the UN system.
    • Technical Support: Offer technical assistance in areas such as project management, fundraising, and strategic planning.
  3. Financial Support:

    • Grants and Funding: Establish grant programs specifically for youth-led initiatives. These funds can support participation in UN events, research, and advocacy efforts.
    • Sustainable Funding: Advocate for sustainable funding mechanisms to ensure long-term support for youth networks.
  4. Access to Information and Resources:

    • Transparency: Ensure that relevant UN documents, reports, and decisions are accessible to youth-led organizations. Transparency promotes informed engagement.
    • Online Platforms: Create user-friendly online platforms where youth can access information, share best practices, and collaborate.
  5. Partnerships and Networking:

    • Collaborate with Established Organizations: Foster partnerships between youth-led networks and established NGOs, governments, and UN agencies. Joint initiatives can amplify impact.
    •  Facilitate exchanges and collaboration among youth organizations from the global south. Shared experiences and knowledge enhance advocacy efforts.
  6. Advocacy and Lobbying:

    • Policy Influence: Encourage youth-led networks to actively engage in policy advocacy. Lobby for youth-friendly policies and resolutions within UN bodies.
    • High-Level Engagement: Facilitate interactions between youth representatives and UN ambassadors, special envoys, and senior officials.
  7. Recognition of Diversity:

    • Intersectionality: Acknowledge the diversity within youth-led constituencies (gender, ethnicity, disability, etc.). Ensure that policies consider these intersecting identities.
    • Indigenous Youth: Recognize the unique perspectives of indigenous youth and their role in sustainable development.
  8. Youth Consultations and Feedback Mechanisms:

    • Regular Dialogues: Organize regular consultations between youth representatives and UN officials. Seek feedback on policies and implementation.
    • Feedback Loops: Establish mechanisms for youth-led networks to provide input during decision-making processes.
  9. Promote Youth-Led Initiatives:

    • Showcase Success Stories: Highlight successful youth-led projects and initiatives at UN events. Celebrate their contributions.
    • Youth Forums: Host youth-specific forums alongside major UN conferences to facilitate direct engagement.
  10. Mentorship and Intergenerational Collaboration:

    • Experienced Advisors: Pair young leaders with experienced mentors within the UN system. Encourage intergenerational learning and collaboration.
    • Reverse Mentorship: Encourage senior officials to learn from youth perspectives.
Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Thanks again for these ideas for actions, Wycliffe. Your suggestions are focused mostly at the UN, yet they cover a wide range of strategies that are crucial to support meaningful youth engagement here. If you don't mind, I have a few follow-up questions - it would be great to have your inputs on these:

- Do you know of specific examples of how youth-led organizations have successfully influenced UN policies or initiatives in the past? If so, I'd love to hear them!

- What resources or support mechanisms do you believe are most critical for building the capacity of youth leaders to engage effectively within the UN system?

Also, I don't see your introduction in the Community Lounge (https://www.sparkblue.org/hear-our-voice/discussion/6-community-lounge) - could you please tell me a bit about you and where you are from/based?

 

Alessandro Ferrario
Alessandro Ferrario

Good morning everyone, 

I’m Alessandro from Italy and I’m a young activist for SDG 4 “Quality Education”. I’m currently cooperating with a NGO with Special Consultative Status in the ECOSOC which primary mission is to support the UN goal for quality education for all.  

I’m 19 and I have the goal to work at the UN as a diplomat, therefore last year I’ve begun looking for ways to start out. 

Once I reached legal age, I decided to start looking for opportunities. Believe me… it was a total disaster, I couldn’t find anything. Sometimes I wasn’t the right fit to participate because I didn’t meet age or educational requirements (for example for some opportunities you must be a graduate student to apply) or simply other opportunities where to hard to find and once I found them… applications were closed. 

Right now, the UN Youth Office has partially solved this issue… their Instagram and X pages are full of opportunities and experiences but in my opinion, out there in the world there are so many young people who wish to make the difference, but they simply don’t know how to get involved.

Something that can be done to solve the issue and to ensure support to youth-led constituencies and networks engaging in the UN system may be for the UN Youth Office to create a platform (similar to unv.org) in which all opportunities are shown and young people can apply directly from the platform. 

The UNYO Platform could really make the difference especially if designed with user-friendly UI, which organizes opportunities by region, selection criteria, type and much more. 

There are plenty of opportunities out there, but it’s a nightmare to find them all. 

The UN Pulse Newsletter is partially solving the issue, and it has been really successful in promoting wonderful opportunities but I still saw that too many weren’t displayed. 

Together we can bring youth participation to the next level and ensure it on a larger scale, and be part of effective change. 

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Thanks for sharing this idea, Alessandro! Indeed the Youth Office and the Pulse Newsletter are often sharing opportunities on their platforms. I would also invite you to follow MGCY as well as our channels undp4youth on Instagram and X where we also share opportunities of engagement. The same goes for some of the other partners behind this consultation. Since you point to the UNV platform, I'm sure you are already aware but if not, I just wanted to highlight that there are also opportunities for online volunteers and limited/short-term volunteerships in various areas and fields of work!

Deena
Deena

While the points covered here by my collegues are relevant, and we at YCGHR resonate with all.There still lack of implementation.For example when we talk about SDG-3 ,the work on various pillars is siloed.UN Agencies need to come together for the HML AMR happening this year, however there limited or no coordination between governments, UN and civil society.

The inclusion of youth activism can only come when major bodies are aligned first.We dont want tokenistic representation of youth.If we study advisory boards, there still is majority representation of Global North youth.Additionally when it comes to decision making meeting global south is still not able to attend let alone amplify their voice.We need young people to get jobs in UN institutions and not just unpaid voluntary work, cause we are experts and not just young people.Young people should get the same amount of respect as an old professional, as we need to compliment our expertise.

We are the ones who are struggling to make ends meet but still working hard to bring social change and work on ground.There is enough literature on youth, but what we want is stronger language in the UN Bodies and even stronger implementation.

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Thank you Deena for raising these points on the need for implementation and multi-stakeholder coordination as well as the need for diverse and intersectional representation and meaningful engagement. If you know of any initiatives through your work at YCGHR which are around some of these points, please feel free to share them as good examples!

Btw, where are you born/raised/based? Please feel free to share a bit about yourself :)

Mohammed Sherif Yakubu
Mohammed Sherif Yakubu

Meaningful youth engagement and participation in decision-making processes and structures are vital across all levels. However, numerous entry barriers impede the ability of youth to engage effectively.

 

Youth Participation in Leadership and Politics:

Political and leadership spaces often pose significant hurdles for youth involvement. These spaces tend to be financially demanding, creating a barrier for young individuals who lack the necessary capital. Additionally, age restrictions, such as the requirement for candidates to be 40 years or older for certain positions, further limit youth participation. This gap between the age demographics of leaders and the general population, particularly pronounced in regions like Africa where the average age is 19 but leaders are much older, underscores a critical disconnect in addressing youth needs and aspirations through policy.

 

Recommendations:

1.Policy Reform on Political Structures:

Implementing policy reforms to democratize political structures is essential. This involves revising electoral laws and regulations to lower financial barriers to entry, such as reducing candidacy fees and providing funding mechanisms for young candidates. Additionally, advocating for age-inclusive policies that allow younger individuals to hold leadership positions is crucial for bridging the generational gap in governance.

 

2. Strengthening Youth-Led Accountability Mechanisms:

Empowering youth-led accountability mechanisms can enhance transparency and responsiveness in governance. This entails supporting initiatives that enable youth to monitor government actions, demand accountability from leaders, and advocate for policies that address their unique concerns. Establishing platforms for meaningful youth engagement in decision-making processes ensures that policies reflect the diverse needs and perspectives of young people.

 

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Thank you, Mohammed, for these inputs - they are very much in line with some of the key recommendations in this new knowledge product which we recently launched at UNDP: https://www.undp.org/publications/youth-peace-and-security-fostering-yo… !

If you know of any good examples of the above, please feel free to share them! Also, please share a bit about yourself and where you're from/based and if you are involved in any work or activism at the moment, perhaps focusing on some of these aspects?

Wajdi  Al-Qadasi
Wajdi Al-Qadasi

1. Obstacles and risks:

    - Lack of awareness and training: Youth in the Global South may face a lack of awareness of their rights and their role in decision-making processes, in addition to a lack of training in the skills necessary for effective participation.

    - Lack of access: Youth in some remote areas face difficulty in accessing the digital and educational infrastructure necessary for effective participation in decision-making processes.

    - Lack of representation: Young people may face difficulty in accessing decision-making platforms and having their voices effectively represented as a result of institutional and political barriers.

 

 2. Support for youth circles and networks:

    - Providing funding and resources: Financial and technical support can be provided to youth-run departments and networks to enable them to work effectively and contribute to the United Nations system.

    - Encouraging representation: Youth circles and networks should be encouraged to promote balanced representation of young people from different cultures, nationalities and backgrounds in leadership and decision-making positions.

 

 3. Strengthening the capabilities of the United Nations system and member states:

    - Providing training and guidance: The capabilities of the United Nations system and member states must be strengthened to enable and support the effective participation of young people in decision-making by providing training and guidance.

    - Transparency and accountability: Transparency and accountability must be strengthened within the international system and in national governments to ensure the effective participation of young people and activate their voices in decision-making.

 

 4. Examples of successful platforms and initiatives:

    - Youth Digital Platform: It relies on technology to collect young people’s ideas and motivate them to participate in decision-making.

    - “Youth for Change” initiative: promotes training and guidance for young people in various fields and enables them to develop leadership skills and participate in decision-making.

 

 5. Ensuring youth participation in following up on the Charter:

    - Providing platforms for dialogue: Platforms must be provided for open and transparent dialogue between youth, political leaders and civil society to ensure that youth voices are included in the follow-up to the Charter.

    - Promoting transparency: Transparency in decision-making processes and follow-up of the Charter must be enhanced to ensure accountability and effective participation of youth.

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Welcome, Wajdi and thanks for your contribution! I like that you hoighlight both some challenges but also some actions to address them as well as some examples of succesful platforms. On the examples, I'm aware of the Youth for Change: https://www.youth4change.org/ but am not sure if I know wich youth digital platform you are refering to. Would you be able to share some more info or a link on this intiative? Thanks!

Karangah
Karangah

Hello, My name is Wanjiru Karangah. I will contribute to the last question. 

To ensure the active engagement of young people and the integration of their voices and solutions into the follow-up to the Pact, including the declaration for Future Generations, a holistic approach is vital. This involves providing opportunities for youth representation in decision-making processes through the inclusion of youth representatives in relevant forums and committees. Regular consultations and engagement sessions should be conducted to gather input and feedback from young people, utilizing various channels such as surveys and online platforms to ensure inclusivity. Additionally, capacity-building initiatives should be implemented to empower young people with the skills and knowledge needed to participate effectively in policy advocacy and leadership roles. Supporting youth-led initiatives and fostering partnerships with youth organizations further amplifies youth voices and promotes their active involvement in driving positive change. Digital engagement tools can also be leveraged to reach a broader audience and facilitate dialogue between young people and policymakers. By implementing these strategies and establishing accountability mechanisms, policymakers can ensure that the perspectives and contributions of young people are central to the follow-up to the Pact, ultimately leading to more inclusive and sustainable outcomes for future generations.

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Hi Wanjiru and greetings from New York to Kenya - thanks for sharing such a comprehensive input to the last question, highlighting the need for a holistic approach. 

Alina Kozytska
Alina Kozytska

Hello, my name is Alina. I am from Ukraine.

Future generations in Ukraine, as well as in any other country, may face various challenges. Here are some of the most likely challenges and possible ways to avoid them or reduce their severity:

Economic instability: Ukraine may continue to experience economic challenges such as inflation, unemployment and insufficient economic growth. To reduce this, it is worth continuing reforms aimed at improving the business environment, fighting corruption, and increasing the competitiveness of the economy.

Political instability: Political conflicts and instability can affect the development of a country. To reduce this, it is worth supporting the principles of democracy, strengthening the rule of law, promoting political stability, and resolving conflicts peacefully.

Environmental problems: Pollution of air, water and soil, as well as the destruction of natural resources, can become serious problems for future generations. In order to reduce the negative impact on the environment, it is necessary to adopt environmentally friendly technologies, promote the use of renewable energy sources and implement nature conservation strategies.

Social justice and equality: Issues in social justice and equality can lead to social tensions and inequality in society. To avoid this, it is necessary to implement policies aimed at reducing poverty, supporting education and access to health services for all sections of the population.

Conflicts and security threats: Ukraine is in a difficult geopolitical situation, where there are threats of external aggression and internal conflicts. To ensure the security of future generations, it is important to strengthen the country's defense capabilities, develop international cooperation and diplomatic efforts to resolve conflicts.

To make Ukraine more resilient to these challenges, it is important to implement a comprehensive approach that takes into account economic, political, environmental and social aspects. It is also important to include the public and young people in decision-making processes and the development of strategies for the future.

 

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Hi Alina and thank you for your inputs, reflecting on some of the challenges that future generations may face in Ukraine and beyond. Please feel free to also share your reflections on the two last guiding questions related to Future Generations:

How can we ensure that the Declaration is firmly anchored in an ethical framework, reflecting and protecting the rights of present and future generations alike? 

What specific follow-up mechanisms should be envisaged by the Declaration, to ensure that its ambition matches follow-up?

 

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Sofiia Pyshnieva
Sofiia Pyshnieva

Dear community, hi! I am so happy to join this group discussion. Allow me to share my experience, as a Youth Development Analyst from the UNDP team in Kyiv. I am working on a project "Civil Society and Youth Support". Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of RF to Ukraine, the challenges the youth population of Ukraine is facing have been tremendous. In addition to survival risks (which is already a lot!), there is an enormous effect of war on young people - as part of them became IDP (internally displaced people), part has post-traumatic disorders, part of the population lost beloved relatives or friends.

However, Ukrainian youth have demonstrated extraordinary resilience and capacity to unite their effort in helping the local communities and people. And there is great attention from their side on how they can be involved in recovery processes. In 2023, the study The Impact of the War on Youth in Ukraine, commissioned by UNDP-UNFPA jointly with the local government, showed that 72% of young people were ready to contribute to the recovery process, but only 1% stated that they were already contributing! It was a dramatic gap. So we decided to address it through the national program of engaging young people in recovery processes VidNOVA: UA - you can check the website. And I want to tell more about it, as it is a great example of meaningful youth engagement platforms (4). 

In brief, VidNOVA:UA is a series of youth exchanges within the country aiming to 1) physically rebuild spaces, and 2) bring together people and cultures from different UA regions. Already 700+ young men and women participated in the programme. They not only rebuilt physical spaces, which now can be used as youth spaces for activities, and dialogue platforms, but also 89% of those participants said they are ready to be volunteers and be engaged in similar activities in the future. This year, we are launching the next iteration of this program! So, about the part of HOW to ensure that youth participation is meaningful - from our experience, it is crucial to provide A - safe space, B - education in the form of training, and C - let young people do their best :) That is how we ensure VidNOVA:UA is about meaningful engagement: 

1) the application process is based on how local NGOs can find a partner from the local government to agree on the utilization of a room/space suitable for renovation and agree to use it as a youth center.

2) then UNDP offers a set of training courses and consultations for youth to finalize their budget proposals, reconstruction plans, and cultural program (cause recovery is not only about walls but about people and history of the place you are visiting).

3) youth exchange is happening, with 50/50 - manual labor and cultural programs, followed up with reflection sessions, and meetings. 

As a result - there is a fantastic volunteering pro-active community of young women and men, staying in Ukraine and engaged in recovery processes.  "Meaningful youth engagement platforms" will have a meaning and a sense, if those platforms reflect the needs of young people here and now (conduct a survey), and if there is a way for young people on how to obtain the knowledge and skills they require to act upon those needs. I hope this example will show that such engagement is possible and doable even in the darkest of times for civil society, and that you always have to work in cooperation with young people leaving no one behind, and offering resources and support, which young people need.

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Hi Sofiia - nice to see you here and thankyou for highlighting some of the ways in which the war in Ukraine has affected young people in particular and the great resilience they demonstrate on a daily basis as well as their readiness to contribute to recovery processes including through the VidNOVA:UA programme.

Sofiia Pyshnieva
Sofiia Pyshnieva

Kiri Ginnerup , thank you for moderating the week! I hope the ideas and our stories will contribute to the Forum`s agenda and programme. 

Yana Hederim
Yana Hederim

Hello, my name is Yana, and I am the head of the HR department at the Ukrainian Youth Councils Association. I am delighted to participate in this important discussion. Based on the questions and discussions proposed, I would like to share my thoughts:

1. Obstacles for youth: It is crucial to recognize and address issues related to safety, access to information, and resources. To overcome these barriers, it is necessary to provide financial and technical support, as well as create dedicated platforms for youth participation in decision-making.

2. Support for youth initiatives: It is important to map, identify, and support youth networks involved in the UN system, providing them with the necessary resources and protection.

3. Participation in decision-making: To ensure meaningful youth participation, it is essential to develop clear guidelines and capacity-building programs for both youth leaders and member states.

4. Successful youth engagement platforms: I would be grateful for examples of successful platforms and initiatives that demonstrate meaningful youth engagement, especially in the context of sustainable development and climate policy.

5. Participation in follow-up actions to the Pact: To ensure youth inclusion in monitoring the implementation of the Pact, attention must be paid to integrating youth initiatives and ideas into national and multilateral decision-making.

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Hi Yana, thanks for sharing your thoughts! On question 4, UNDP actually just published a new report on meaningful youth engagement and participation in political and civic spheres - it has a lot of examples and case studies throughout the report which you might want to take a look at: https://www.undp.org/publications/youth-peace-and-security-fostering-yo… - although the report is framed within the YPS agenda, the examples reflect a broad variety of promising practices, but I'm also looping in my colleague Giulia Jacovella who might be able to point you toward some good examples on youth-led climate action

Anmol Maggon
Anmol Maggon
  1. What are the main obstacles and risks for the meaningful youth engagement in multilateral and national decision-making, especially for young people and youth organisations in the global south? 
    The future we inherit depends heavily on the voices and actions of today's youth.
    Currently, young people are often excluded from decision-making processes that directly impact their lives. Additionally, education systems struggle to equip them with the skills needed to navigate the complexities of the 21st century, hindering their ability to address global challenges and contribute meaningfully to the workforce. This lack of engagement and skills creates a future where youth unemployment remains high, and economic inequalities limit their opportunities for social mobility.
     
  2. How can standards be ensured, and UN system and Member State capacities reinforced, to ensure meaningful youth engagement in the multilateral system and in national decision-making? 
    First, quotas for youth representation in UN bodies and decision-making processes would ensure their voices are heard at the highest levels.
    Second, a revamp of educational curricula is essential. By focusing on critical thinking, problem-solving, and digital literacy skills, young people will be equipped to tackle the challenges they'll inherit.
    Third, promoting youth entrepreneurship through access to funding and resources will foster innovation and create opportunities for youth-led solutions.
    Finally, creating safe spaces for youth to voice their concerns and co-create solutions with policymakers is crucial for fostering a sense of ownership and building a future that reflects their needs and aspirations.

    By prioritising these reforms, we can move beyond simply including young people at the table. We can empower them to become active participants in shaping a more just, sustainable, and prosperous world for all generations.



     
Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Thank you for your inputs, Anmol! It would be great if you tell us a bit about yourself and where you're from/based and your work etc.

Anmol Maggon
Anmol Maggon

Kiri Ginnerup 

I am based in London, UK and I am a recent master's graduate in International Relations. Currently, I am working with The Geostrata think tank as a researcher, with Oxfam UK as a constituency campaigner, and I am looking for other opportunities as well. 

Will Charouhis
Will Charouhis

Hi All. I am Will Charouhis from Miami, Florida. While we need technological know-how and political might, the driver for change starts with community will. We need to advocate, but we also need to take hands-on action ourselves, and drive change through campaigns to reduce the depletion of resources. 

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Thank you Will, do you know of any good initiative aimed at capacity building and advocacy at community-level? Please feel free to share! 

Demian Petryk
Demian Petryk

Greetings community! I'm Demian from Ukraine, also thrilled to participate in this discussion.

Speaking about the challenges facing Ukrainian youth and the future generation of Ukrainian society, in my own opinion, a significant issue in the future will be the demographic situation in Ukraine. As of today, according to various estimates, approximately 5 young people are needed to support one elderly person, which is largely due to the war and the significant wave of refugees from Ukraine.

I also work at the NGO "Youth Platform", where we have been operating in Ukraine for over 11 years, establishing youth centers and youth councils. Together with UNDP Ukraine, we are implementing the project "Dialogues of Victory", which involves discussions with youth in small communities regarding the role of youth in conditions of martial law and post-war reconstruction. Within the project, we have conducted over 60 such meetings throughout Ukraine, engaging more than 1000 young people of various ages, categories, and statuses. Here are the challenges that Ukrainian youth are facing:

- Insufficient support for youth participation tools in small communities: In Ukraine, we have over 450 youth councils, but they are not supported at the community level due to funding issues, not to mention the problems in the youth sector.

- Insufficient support for youth infrastructure: A similar situation exists with youth centers and spaces; currently, they are not supported by government authorities due to the war conditions.

- The problem of integrating internally displaced persons (IDPs), young veterans, and combatants into community life: It will be challenging to integrate these population groups during post-war reconstruction, and various programs need to be developed to address this issue.

- Economic instability: Ukraine faces economic challenges such as unemployment, low wages, and high prices for housing and other goods. This can create difficulties for young people in finding employment and planning their future. To address this problem, youth propose creating entrepreneurship support programs, which will also help repatriate youth from abroad.

These are just the main four problems that are most widespread; we have others and are ready to share more. Feel free to contact us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/demian.petrik/

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Thank you for sharing these inputs from an Ukrainian perspective, Demian, and for highlighting the Dialogues of Victory project. Were the challenges you highlight the ones that came up as the key challenges (mentioned by the participants) in the dialogues?

Ghada Almegren
Ghada Almegren

Thank you for initiating this consultation forum. My name is Ghada Almegren, and I'm a policymaker. My expertise in public policy spans across all levels of governance – from local to national and global.

I believe that youth often find themselves excluded from formal policymaking and decision-making processes within governments. To address this global issue, it is imperative to create opportunities for youth to actively participate in formal governance structures. This can be achieved through the establishment of engagement and career development pathways for young advocates and professionals. Additionally, the development and utilization of citizen participation tools can empower youth to engage in participatory governance and contribute meaningfully to decision-making processes.

As a notable example, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has introduced the Istitlaa platform, an e-platform for public consultation in lawmaking and policymaking. This innovative platform marks a significant shift towards transparent and participatory governance. By bringing together government entities, private and third sectors, as well as civil society members, this platform enables the collection of opinions on economic and development laws prior to their approval. The platform plays a crucial role in enhancing efficiency in the legislative process by fostering inclusive participation.

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Dear Ghada, thank you for these inputs. If I may ask - if you have any - what is your organizational affiliation as a policy-maker? I'm not sure if you're working for a particular organization or consultancy-based? Also please let us know where you're from/based.

Based on your answer, I thought you might find this recently published Guide by UNDP interesting: https://www.undp.org/publications/youth-peace-and-security-fostering-yo…;

The Guide is focused on the participation of young people in political and civic spheres and identifies opportunities and challenges and provides insights on potential barriers to young people's ability to meaningfully engage in these spheres. It is also illustrated with inspiring examples and case studies from across the world and concludes with specific recommendations to foster youth-inclusive political processes and facilitate meaningful engagement also in the civic sphere!

 

Каролина Мишель Макайя
Каролина Мишель Макайя

Hello!
I want to support and continue the topic of my Ukrainian colleagues about active youth activities in Ukraine. I am an internally displaced person from the city of Donetsk, currently living in Zaporizhzhia. Before the full-scale invasion, many youth NGOs were created and developed in our country, which were created by young proactive activists. There were many different training programs on project management and the development of initiatives, organizations, and advisory bodies (councils formed by public organizations that represent the interests of their target audience in the municipality). In some consultative and advisory bodies, areas of work with young people began to appear, in which young people actively participated. Many of my colleagues started their journey by volunteering at various events or organizations while still in school. At my school, we also collected aid and handed it over, with the support of teachers and administration, to the victims. We also worked on many peer-to-peer projects, where people of the same age taught each other or exchanged information.

Since the beginning of the full-scale russian invasion of Ukraine, many young activists and volunteers have organized and joined volunteer headquarters. Each headquarters had different directions, in particular, young people often met newly arrived migrants and provided first aid; helped the local population, which found itself in difficult life circumstances; helped everyone who needed help and support. Over time, young people began to organize new projects that are relevant now. These are various measures and activities, from psychological support and integration of IDPs to the restoration of damaged buildings and structures and the creation of temporary and permanent housing for those who have lost it. In my city, there is a whole center where people can develop their initiatives, join existing ones, and gain knowledge and skills to develop their businesses or ideas.

Ruth Nawakwi
Ruth Nawakwi

Iam Ruth Nawakwi from Zambia 🇿🇲  Youth Activist.

Founder of Inclusive Education for Sustainable Development IESD. 

 

Youth. 

 

Question 1:

Main obstacles and risks for meaningful youth engagement in multilateral and national decision-making, especially for young people and youth organizations in the global south, include lack of access to resources, limited representation, institutional barriers, and socio-economic disparities. Discrimination based on age, gender, race, or socio-economic status also hinders meaningful participation.

 

Question 2:

To ensure support for youth-led constituencies and networks engaging in the UN system, there should be dedicated funding mechanisms, capacity-building programs, mentorship opportunities, and institutional frameworks that prioritize youth voices. Establishing partnerships between governments, international organizations, and civil society can also facilitate sustained support for youth-led initiatives.

 

Question 3:

Standards for meaningful youth engagement can be ensured by developing clear guidelines and protocols, fostering inclusive decision-making processes, promoting transparency, and holding accountable those who fail to uphold youth participation principles. Capacity reinforcement can be achieved through training programs, knowledge sharing platforms, and technical assistance to both youth organizations and governmental institutions.

 

Question 4:

Successful examples of meaningful youth engagement platforms and initiatives include the Youth Delegate Program, Youth Advisory Councils, Youth Forums, and Youth Parliament. These platforms provide spaces for young people to express their views, influence policies, and participate in decision-making processes at local, national, and international levels.

 

Question 5:

To ensure that young people are engaged and their voices and solutions integrated in the follow-up to the Pact, including the declaration for Future Generations, it is crucial to involve youth representatives in all stages of planning, implementation, and evaluation. Utilizing digital platforms, youth-led campaigns, and participatory methodologies can amplify youth voices and facilitate their meaningful contribution to shaping the future agenda.

 

It is said in our local language that "imiti Iyikula eempanga".  The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.  It is imperative to invest in the wellbeing of future generations. 

 

Kindly find the attached document for my recent interview with  UNESCO-IICBA on issues affecting young people.  The certificate of recognition by the Commonwealth Secretary-General Innovation Award 2023 and an International Recognition of  my Activism and advocacy work in promoting human rights and promoting inclusive programs for the youth and persons with disabilities. 

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Thank you for these inputs and the ones in your comment below!

imiti Iyikula eempanga - what a true and important saying!!

Pointing towards successful examples of meaningful youth engagement platforms and initiatives, you mention the Youth Delegate Program, Youth Advisory Councils, Youth Forums, and Youth Parliaments - if you know of any particular programmes - from global, region or perhaps Zambian country- or community level - please feel free to share them. 

 

Ruth Nawakwi
Ruth Nawakwi

Ruth Nawakwi from Zambia,  Youth Activist. 

Founder of Inclusive Education for Sustainable Development IESD. 

 

FUTURE GENERATIONS. 

 

Major issues and risks relevant to youth today:

 

Climate change and environmental degradation. This has highly affected the youth of today and calls for collaborative actions in mitigating ramifications of Climate change.  Take for instance the  Droughts in Zambia which have resulted in loss of all farming products this year has highly led to high Poverty levels and economic inequality and lack of opportunities for the youth. 

In addition Mental health challenges and social pressures. There is need to transform education and ensure access to quality education and healthcare. Promote Technological advancements and digital privacy concerns.

Challenges future generations will face and mitigation strategies:

 

Continued environmental degradation: Implement sustainable practices and policies, invest in renewable energy, and promote conservation efforts.

Technological disruption: Establish ethical guidelines for emerging technologies, prioritize education in STEM fields, and ensure equitable access to technology.

Social and economic disparities: Address systemic inequalities through inclusive policies, support marginalized communities, and promote equal opportunities for all.

Anchoring the Declaration in an ethical framework:

 

Incorporate principles of justice, fairness, and intergenerational equity.

Ensure respect for human rights, including the right to a clean environment, education, healthcare, and participation in decision-making processes.

Consult with diverse stakeholders, including youth representatives, indigenous communities, and experts in various fields, to ensure inclusivity and accountability.

Follow-up mechanisms for the Declaration:

 

Establish a monitoring and evaluation framework to track progress and address shortcomings.

Create an oversight body or committee responsible for overseeing implementation and providing periodic reports.

Foster international cooperation and collaboration to exchange best practices and resources.

Empower civil society organizations and youth-led initiatives to hold governments and institutions accountable for their commitments.

Yosuke Nagai
Yosuke Nagai

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the discussion on youth and future generations. I am Yosuke Nagai from Accept International, dedicated to rehabilitating and reintegrating disengaged combatants in conflict-affected regions, such as Somalia, Yemen, Kenya, and Indonesia.

In our pursuit of fostering meaningful youth participation in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, it is crucial not to overlook youth associated with non-state armed groups (YANSAG). They are youth with untapped potential, and their unique experiences can offer valuable insights for innovative approaches to tackling the cycle of violence.

By empowering YANSAG and involving them in peace processes, we harness a vital demographic capable of catalyzing positive change. Neglecting their inclusion poses risks of perpetuating conflict and vulnerability in society. Therefore, prioritizing their engagement is not only a matter of social justice but also a pragmatic strategy for achieving sustainable peace.

Under the framework of Sustaining Peace, it is imperative to prioritize the inclusion and empowerment of YANSAG. By doing so, we not only address the root causes of violence but also pave the way for a more comprehensive approach to conflict prevention.

I sincerely hope that global youth engagement and empowerment policies will recognize the importance of including YANSAG, as they hold the potential to contribute significantly to building a better future for all. They are eagerly awaiting our collective efforts to unlock their potential and pave the way for a more peaceful world.

Chehek Bilgi
Chehek Bilgi

Greetings from India. Thank you for this opportunity to contribute here. I feel this is a great platform to communicate and share your voices. As I have gone through some brilliant suggestions by different youths here I would like to add in some more suggestions from my side. 

What are the main obstacles and risks for the meaningful youth engagement in multilateral and national decision-making, especially for young people and youth organizations in the global south? 

There seem to be a perception that youth participation is not essential or that young people lack the expertise to contribute meaningfully. For this reason, the youth from global south often face lack of trust and resources, systemic exclusion of minorities and marginalized young people, weak systems and organizational structures, age restrictions, bureaucratic processes, lack of mechanisms and political will. Lack of finances and spaces restrict their inner potential to come out, they lack capacity & mobility to contribute and engage in decision making spaces. Their voices are not heard & when they are allowed to speak, often it is for tokenism or lip service.  Limited access to education and information is another major barrier – especially quality education, information about their rights, platforms for skill & entrepreneurial trainings, exposures, mentoring and hand holding are negligible in many countries. The education system still runs on cramming, mugging up, expectations for high marks etc which does not necessarily help in real learning or for overall personal development. In order to address socio-economic challenges such as poverty and unemployment, it is important to boost youth whereby creative and innovative ideas are transformed into enterprises initiated and managed by young people. Then there is digital divide, and gender digital divide is very deep- this exacerbates inequalities in access to information and opportunities - many young people in the global south lack access to the internet and digital technologies, which are increasingly important for participating in decision-making processes. With increasing demand for digital technologies, imparting youths the knowledge regarding the same is of utmost priority for them to be able to contribute. When it comes to cultural and social norms many young people might be discouraged, especially young women, Traditional gender roles and expectations can limit the opportunities available to youth, particularly in conservative societies from participating in decision-making processes. English, Spanish, and French- these languages are more used world over. Youth are taught their own local & national language, it is difficult for them to converse, understand and contribute in English & other languages which are more used globally.  With the increase in demand of social media in some contexts, young people face security risks and threats to their safety when participating in decision-making processes, particularly if they are advocating for controversial issues or challenging established authorities. Many young environmental and human rights activists get into the trap & even are killed if and when they confront societal structures. Youth need good governance, transparent political institutions & spaces to speak up & ensure that their voices are heard and acted upon. 

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Thank you Chelek for highlighting these challenges - they are very much in line with the challenges also outlined in a recent Guide by UNDP: https://www.undp.org/publications/youth-peace-and-security-fostering-yo… so I'm taking the opportunity to share it here, in case you would like to have a look at it. In addition to the challenges, the report also identifies opportunities with regard to young people's participation in the political and civic spheres. Illustrated with examples and case studies from across the world, the Guide provides specific recommendations to foster and facilitate this meaningful engagement. 

 

 

Chehek Bilgi
Chehek Bilgi

What can be done to ensure support to youth-led constituencies and networks engaging in the UN system?

Young people should be recognized as equal partners in decision-making processes and their engagement should be facilitated through access to information - Throughout the engagement process, youth should be provided with timely, clear, diversity-sensitive and age-appropriate information about issues under discussion as well as their role and their rights. This can involve creating dedicated online portals, providing briefings, and disseminating materials in youth-friendly formats. Young people should be informed and educated about their rights and empowered to hold duty bearers accountable for respecting, protecting and fulfilling those rights. Duty bearers must ensure that measures, including referral systems, to protect youth from threats and attacks are established and strengthened.  Engaging youth in decision-making processes should be formally mandated to prevent an ad hoc approach and to ensure that youth perspectives are integrated throughout the full decision-making process. Designated seats are to be made available for young people in various processes in order to prevent unequal power dynamics and competition between youth and non youth actors.  Capacity-building opportunities to enhance their skills in advocacy, negotiation, and leadership through training, workshops, mentorship, and online resources tailored to the needs of youth activists. Need to establish mechanisms within the UN system to facilitate engagement with youth-led constituencies and ensure their voices are heard in decision-making processes. This can include establishing youth advisory panels, appointing youth focal points within UN agencies, and mainstreaming youth participation in relevant committees and working groups. Networking and collaboration for knowledge exchange, experiences, and building alliances. Inclusion of youth from diverse backgrounds, including marginalized communities, indigenous groups, and persons with disabilities, with different gender identities, girls will create proper representation & hence move towards sustainability. Recognizing the contributions of youth & their visibility is utmost important by supporting  youth-led advocacy campaigns and initiatives aimed at influencing UN policies and decisions on issues of importance to young people, by providing technical assistance and strategic guidance to effectively advocate for their priorities within the UN system. Duty bearers should make available transparent information on how young people’s inputs have been used and interpreted to influence outcomes. Young people should consult with wider youth constituencies throughout the engagement period, as they feed into various decision-making processes. This engagement should be long term and on an ongoing basis.

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Thanks for sharing these ideas, Chelek. I shared a guidebook above which you may find interesting as it aligns with some of the things you also call attention to.

Hannah Ajelet Eriksen
Hannah Ajelet Eriksen

Dear all, it is so nice to e-meet everyone, and we are very happy to see how many young people are engaging in the SotF and discussions around the Pact! :) I just wanted to share the contribution of Interpeace on Chapter 4 (we tried to combine our answers to the various questions asked above): 

 

It is also  firm belief that Chapter 4 of the Pact and the Declaration on Future Generations should not overlook the needs of young people in the present in favour of future generations yet unborn: it is the agency and leadership of youth now, as well as of future youth cohorts, that will determine the shape of the future. Moreover, it is imperative that youth inclusion permeates every facet of the Pact, not merely confined to Chapter 4. For instance, Youth, Peace, and Security (YPS) issues are not isolated but intricately linked to broader peace and security concerns. Youth have also fervently expressed that every Sustainable Development Goal directly affects them, emphasising the importance of incorporating youth perspectives into Chapter 1. In similar vein, advocating for meaningful youth participation across policy and political forums, coupled with the role of UN Youth, is essential for the global governance reform envisaged in Chapter 5 of the Pact. Lastly, youth also possess a significant stake in science, technology, and innovation, as outlined in Chapter 4. This approach aligns closely with the findings of the UN’s The Missing Peace: Independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace, and Security, and underscores the concept of youth intersectionality. By acknowledging the interconnectedness of various youth-related issues and working to dismantle the barriers of exclusion and marginalisation. Young people are concerned about a wide range of issues and their voices should not be confined to a specific chapter. The Pact must therefore reflect the cross-cutting reality of young people’s lives.  

 

Young people are already making powerful demands for change. In particular, they make up the bulk of the leadership of global social movements that are on the front line in the existential fight against climate change, as well as in the struggles for human security, inclusive, legitimate, and accessible justice mechanisms (be they customary, formal, or transitional), and the fight against social inequality. Delayed action on these crucial concerns will likely rob future generations of their prospects for peace. Furthermore, their actions are inspiring hope for the future, pushing for improvements in systems that can otherwise appear resistant or slow to change. As such, we strongly advocate for the Pact to recognise, cultivate, and include the vital change agency of the young people who play such a dynamic leadership role beyond the confines of traditional institutions. The social movements they occupy and mobilise need to be heard and embraced, rather than treated as threatening or negatively disruptive of the status quo. These youth-driven initiatives, often overlooked, are redefining the contours of our field. As envisaged in the UN’s The Missing Peace: Independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace, and Security, young people will be in the driving seat of efforts to encourage their engagement. Inclusivity is not just a buzzword; it is a mandate for an equitable and comprehensive policy framework. To ensure the Pact genuinely mirrors the dynamic forces shaping our collective future, we also recommend regular and sustained listening exercises to integrate and update the ever-changing perspectives and needs of those at the forefront of societal transformations.   

 

To support youth in a systematic way, we suggest that the Pact adopts two approaches. First, young people must be at the heart of designing and owning the words of this Pact so that it carries their voice, conviction, and legitimacy. Second, this cannot be a document set in stone, but instead it must incorporate built-in opportunities for reflection, review, and revision by the generations for which this Pact will be intended. We have learned this lesson from our work with young people in countries across the globe, who have inherited the peace agreements that were forged in their names and their interests – projected into the future. Whether in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Rwanda, or Guatemala – to mention just a few –, those youth cohorts born after the conflicts and into the peace agreements, often inescapably inherit the legacies of their parents’ conflicts, and the assumptions and constraints (as well as the sacrifices) of the peace agreements made in their names. These successor youth cohorts, seeking a right of review and to critically reflect on what is and is not working for them a generation later, teach us that when contemplating the interests of future generations, the multilateral system must be modest and self-reflective. This is essential if the needs of successive youth cohorts are to translate this demographic dividend into a transgenerational peace dividend. The Pact must therefore remain a flexible framework, adaptable to the changing priorities and needs of future youth cohorts, rather than being set in stone. This is essential to harness the collective imagination (and reimagination) for peace of successive generations. This is what will keep the document alive, relevant, and responsive. 

 

To live up to our obligations to youth and future generations we need transformative and transgenerational change rooted in trustworthiness, reciprocal accountability, commitment, and ownership among and between member states, civil society actors, and citizens worldwide. This is not merely a philosophical endeavour, but the essential means for building rights-respecting states and societies, for reimagining the next generation of Sustainable Development Goals, for achieving the aspirations of the YPS and WPS agendas, and for building a world where peace is not just an ideal, but a tangible reality that continues to evolve and be adapted to its times. 

 

The Pact should recognise youth as vital contributors to the present and architects of the future. This necessitates the implementation of mechanisms that empower youth to actively deliver on the Pact’s crafted solutions, so that they are not passive recipients but active stakeholders shaping their own narratives. As noted above, rhetorical commitments to youth are not simply synonymous with investment in the future. It is imperative to recognise that youth in conflict and post-conflict situations are not passive recipients of these policy processes; they are active stakeholders shaping their narratives.   

 

Lastly, it is imperative that this Pact is underpinned by the fundamental principle of accountability. Accountability, in this context, signifies not only the transparency of our current actions but also the long-term impact of our decisions on the well-being and sustainability of the world for future generations. Future generations must be able to hold us accountable for the commitments we pledge, and the Pact offers a chance to prove the trustworthiness of our words and deeds. Establishing mechanisms within the Pact that facilitate continuous scrutiny, evaluation, and revision of commitments, ensures that the document will not be merely symbolic but serve as a tangible, living covenant between generations, fostering a sense of shared stewardship and responsibility for the future. 

 

Bate Tabenyang Alaine
Bate Tabenyang Alaine

As an expert in youth engagement and sustainable development, I am happy to provide insights on the questions presented.

Youth:

  1. Main obstacles and risks for meaningful youth engagement in multilateral and national decision-making, especially for young people and youth organizations in the global south: Some of the main obstacles and risks for meaningful youth engagement include lack of representation, lack of resources and support, limited access to decision-making spaces, and marginalization of youth voices. In the global south, these challenges are often exacerbated by political instability, weak governance structures, and lack of funding for youth-led organizations.

  2. Ensuring support to youth-led constituencies and networks engaging in the UN system: To ensure support for youth-led constituencies and networks engaging in the UN system, it is essential to provide funding, capacity-building, mentorship, and opportunities for meaningful participation in decision-making processes. This can be achieved through dedicated funding mechanisms, mentorship programs, capacity-building workshops, and creating spaces for youth to share their experiences and best practices.

  3. Ensuring standards and capacities for meaningful youth engagement: To ensure standards and capacities for meaningful youth engagement, it is crucial to develop clear guidelines, training programs, and accountability mechanisms for both the UN system and member states. This can involve creating a standardized framework for youth engagement, establishing monitoring and evaluation systems, and providing regular feedback to youth organizations.

  4. Examples of successful youth engagement platforms and initiatives: Some successful examples of youth engagement platforms and initiatives include the Youth4Climate initiative, the Youth2030 Strategy, the UN Youth Envoy's Office, and the Youth Assembly at the UN. These platforms have provided young people with opportunities to share their ideas, collaborate with decision-makers, and advocate for change at the national and international levels.

  5. Ensuring young people are engaged in the follow-up to the Pact: To ensure that young people are engaged in the follow-up to the Pact, it is essential to create dedicated spaces for youth participation, develop youth-friendly communication tools, and prioritize youth-led solutions in the implementation of the Pact. This can involve setting up youth advisory groups, organizing youth consultations, and integrating youth perspectives into decision-making processes.

Future generations:

  1. Major issues and risks relevant to youth today that should be reflected in the Declaration for future generations: Some major issues and risks relevant to youth today include climate change, biodiversity loss, social inequality, economic instability, and political polarization. These challenges have a significant impact on the well-being and future opportunities of young people, and they must be addressed in the Declaration for future generations.

  2. Challenges future generations will face and how to avoid or minimize them: Future generations will face challenges such as resource scarcity, environmental degradation, technological disruption, and geopolitical conflicts. To avoid or minimize these challenges, it is essential to promote sustainable development, invest in education and skills development, foster global cooperation, and prioritize the well-being of future generations in decision-making processes.

  3. Ensuring the Declaration is firmly anchored in an ethical framework: To ensure that the Declaration is firmly anchored in an ethical framework, it should be based on the principles of human rights, environmental sustainability, social justice, and intergenerational equity. This can involve incorporating ethical guidelines, values, and norms into the Declaration, and ensuring that the rights and interests of present and future generations are respected and protected.

  4. Follow-up mechanisms for the Declaration: To ensure that the Declaration is effectively implemented and followed up, it is essential to establish monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, create accountability systems, and involve stakeholders in the implementation process. This can involve setting up a dedicated task force, conducting regular progress reviews, and reporting on the impact of the Declaration on present and future generations.

Kiri Ginnerup
Kiri Ginnerup Moderator

Wow, we received so many inputs from so many different places in the world in this final week of the discussion, including Egypt, Ukraine, Zambia, Haiti, India, Miami/the US, London/UK, Yemen, Italy and Kenya just to name a few places.

While the inputs were really rich and many and difficult to recap, some common threads throughout many of them are:

  • There are a lot of obstacles to meaningful youth engagement in political processes, especially for young people in the Global South, as young people face a lot of structural, economic, legal and socio-cultural barriers. Some of these include financial barriers, lack of education, capacity-building and access to information, rigid institutional and organizational barriers, deep-rooted socio-cultural barriers, a lot of tokenism and lack of diversity and intersectional lenses, and not being recognized as real and serious agents of change.
  • Meaningful youth engagement requires moving beyond tokenism and fully supporting young people at all levels – ranging from global to community levels – with a holistic approach including policy reforms that ensure formal representation for young people at political levels to capacity-building efforts at the community level. Mechanism to promote youth participation in decision-making processes must be strengthened, and funding for young people and youth organizations should be regular and sustainable and dedicated to young people. The need for capacity building and training and access to information and resources – especially for young people in the Global South - was also highlighted by many as well as the importance of support for youth-led networks and platforms. Importantly, it was pointed out that intersectionality should be prioritized across all these actions, and also that youth-led accountability and feedback mechanisms should be strengthened to ensure implementation.
  • Some promising practices and examples include various youth delegate programs, youth advisory councils, youth forums, and youth parliaments that provide spaces for young people to express their views, influence policies, and participate in decision-making processes at local, national, and international levels as well as capacity-building progreammes. Some of those mentioned were: the UNV platform, The United Nations Young Leaders Program, The African Union Youth Forum, The Network of Young Leaders for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, The European Union Young Ambassadors Program, Model UN, the Youth 20 Summit- G20, VidNOVA: UA and "Dialogues of Victory" in Ukraine and Istitlaa platform, an e-platform for public consultation in lawmaking and policymaking in Saudi-Arabia.
  • As for the Declaration for Future Generations, it was highlighted that it should be developed in consultation with all stakeholders, and most with importantly young people as architects of both the present and the future. It should be based on universal ethical principles such as human dignity, equity and justice and integrate human rights and sustainable development principles. Highlighted by many was also that it must be underpinned by the fundamental principle of accountability – and that mechanisms should be put in place to make sure that stakeholders meet their commitments.

Much, much more was said so I invite everyone to take a scroll and read all of the great inputs below while the organizing team will do our best to bring them into our ECOSOC Youth Forum session titled: "Insights & Recommendations: The voices of Youth and Meaningful Youth Engagement in the Summit of the Future" at the ECOSOC Youth Forum (16-18 April 2024) as well as feeding them into the Voices of Youth Report and the global youth policy paper on Summit of the Future.

To wrap up this consultation, I want to echo the local Zambian saying that I learned today from Ruth Nawakwi: "imiti Iyikula eempanga", meaning that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow – and with a twist add that young people are the leaders also of today!!! Thanks again for all your rich and valuable inputs. 

Sofiia Pyshnieva
Sofiia Pyshnieva

This is fantastic opportunity for me (but I am pretty sure for all of us) to get to know each others work and experience from the first hands! Thank you for organising these online consultations. Please, take care everyone! And can't wait to join online the ECOSOC Youth Forum and Summit of the Future in September)

Bakur Madini
Bakur Madini

On the inclusion of youth in the decision making process and spaces I believe there are two main challenges from the perspective the youth:

Access: This can be from physical access to events/spaces (given the location of such events) or ability to connect with stakeholders. 

Readiness: While well-intentioned, youth might not necessarily be well equipped to navigate policy making spaces or understand the politics of it. Being passiaonte is not enough.

Additionally, from a systems perspective an additional challenge present itself which is the lack of set processes and mechanisms for such inclusion.

 

For the issues above there are several solutions:

- Rotate events and ensure that they are in visa friendly locations.

- Create funds with partners (charitable organizations, foundations, and private sector) for youth participation to cover cost of travel.

- Create policy analysis and negotiations toolkits and training programs either through UN agencies or partners.  

- Institutionalize youth participation through a centralized UN committee or office with standardized procedures, processes, and policies.

 

Bakur Madini
Bakur Madini

In terms of including Youth we have to look at this from both sides: youth and organizations.

 

From the youth side I believe there are two main challenges:

Access: This includes both physical access to events (given that they are mostly in hard to get countries for global south youth) and virtual access to policymakers.

readiness: Being passionate is not enough. Proper research and knowledge is required with clear understanding of the political systems in place.

From the systems/organization perspective I believe that the lack of proper protocols and clarity is the main issue coupled with a bad perception of youth advocates (due to the readiness problem mentioned above).

 

There are many available solutions of which some are in place but probably needs expanding:

- Rotating meetings and events to be in vida friendly locations.

- Create funds with third parties to cover cost of travel and attendance for youth.

- Create policy analysis and making toolkits and trainings either through UN agencies or third party partners.  

- Create a centralized committee/office in the UN that would facilitate youth participation and standardize needed protocols.