The events in the UK during the last week has not only disgusted many in Britain, but with the worldwide spread of connected media -the whole world holds up young people in Britain as figures of shame.
We all know it was a ‘handful’ of young disaffected youth that were to blame, yet the media seems only interested in a sensational and negative view of young people. Not many newspapers get sold when the main headline is ‘Boy scout helps old lady to cross the road!’.
International Youth Day, this Friday, August 12, marks the culmination of the UN International Year of Youth. The focus of the International Year was to advance the full and effective participation of youth in all aspects of society, and was kicked off by 27 Heads of UN Entities reaffirming the World Programme of Action for Youth.
The World Programme of Action for Youth, which was initially developed in 1985 during the first International Year of Youth, provides a policy framework and practical guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of young people. While progress has certainly been made in some of the areas outlined in the Programme, much remains to be done, particularly for youth affected by crisis.
All sectors of society are encouraged to work in partnership with youth and youth organisations to better understand their needs and concerns, and to recognise the significant contributions that they can and do make to society. With this in mind we have seen a strong momentum building in the area of inter-agency coordination on youth and within the INEE Adolescents and Youth Task Team.
UPDATES: Inter-Agency Coordination on Youth
Recent international events – including the November 2010 INEE Policy Roundtable on education for youth affected by crisis and a January inter-agency symposium on engaging youth in conflict affected areas – have built momentum for increasing collaboration among relief and development organizations to ensure coherent, responsible and relevant programming for youth in disaster- and conflict-affected situations.
In response, INEE undertook a mapping exercise in March and April on behalf of itself and colleagues such as the Center for Peace Building International, the International Rescue Committee, Search for Common Ground and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Findings indicated that increased collaboration could produce many benefits including: enhanced commitment (particularly at higher political and organizational levels); increased funding for and better financing of youth programs; more coordination and less duplication; incorporating youth issues more substantively in the humanitarian and development architecture, such as the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s cluster system; more effective programming; and institutionalized mechanisms for engaging youth.
To further these ends, many of the agencies involved in the mapping have since come together to form the core of a new informal youth coordination group that others have joined as well. The group has developed an action plan with activities to undertake together and approximately 30 individuals representing around 20 agencies – such as INEE, Open Society Foundation, Plan, Search for Common Ground, UNFPA, Women’s Refugee Commission – have agreed to participate. If you’d like to get involved with the work of the informal youth coordination group, please contact L. Randolph Carter from the Center for Peace Building International at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As its first activity, the group organized a side event to the UN High Level Meeting on Youth on 25 July. Panelists from the side event discussed the need for cross-sectoral engagement and interagency collaboration and the need for a champion of youth issues as a way to begin discussions at higher policy levels.
SURVEY: Inter-agency Survey on Youth
As its next activity, the informal youth coordination group is organizing an inter-agency survey process to engage young people in emergencies, post-conflict, and post-disaster situations for the purpose of informing collective humanitarian action. The group hopes to reach 30,000 young people through the survey.
If you would like to get involved with the development and implementation of the survey, please contact L. Randolph Carter at email@example.com.
UPDATES: INEE Adolescents and Youth Task Team
The INEE Adolescents and Youth Task Team has capitalized on the recent momentum around youth issues. It has reorganized with new conveners and has new activities underway.
AYTT co-convenership:Alongside continuing co-convener Nicolas Servas from Refugee Education Trust (RET), INEE would like to welcome Josh Chaffin (Women’s Refugee Commission), Anna Seeger (GIZ) and Kerstin Tebbe (INEE) as new AYTT co-conveners. INEE would like to thank the previous conveners – Jenny Perlman Robinson, Naseem Awl and Marian Hodgkin – for their contributions and commitment.
AYTT Action Plan: The AYTT has also created a new action plan and updated tasks for the next 12 months. Based on recommendations put forth from the Policy Roundtable in November 2010, there are four broad categories for action:
- advocacy and the building the evidence base to make the case for education for youth;
- knowledge management and technical capacity to equip all actors;
- resources for all to increase funding for post-primary education;
- and inter-agency and inter-sectoral coordination to work together to holistically meet the needs of youth affected by crisis.
AYTT Advocacy Brief: The AYTT advocacy brief on ‘Education for Youth Affected by Crisis: Trends, Challenges and Ways Forward’ is available here.
AYTT webpage: The AYTT webpage on the INEE website has also undergone some changes to reflect the new leadership and momentum of the group. Please view the website here for more information on the past, current and future activities of the group.
If you are interested in getting involved with the work of the AYTT, please firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the website on the International Year of Youth:
Welcome to the International Year of Youth (IYY)
“Youth should be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national and global levels.”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
On 18 December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolutionA/RES/64/134 proclaiming the year commencing on 12 August 2010 as the International Year of Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding. The Year will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the first International Youth Year in 1985 on the theme Participation, Development and Peace. The resolution A/RES/64/134 is available in all United Nations Official Languages: English | Français | Español | Русский | عربي | 汉语
The Brochure of the Year provides an overview of the importance of the International Year for young people. Everyone is invited to promote the ideals of peace, freedom, progress and solidarity towards the promotion of youth development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The Brochure is available in all official UN languages under Links and Resources on top of this page.
International Year of Youth: Culmination Celebration, 11 August 2011
Global Launch of the International Year of Youth, 12 August 2010
Further information about International Youth Day includes this article from the Ecoleader’s Blog
“Good Night Earth” (free eBook) – Celebrating International Youth Day
Posted on August 12, 2011 by Ed Valdez, EcoLeader
(Source: United Nations)
Since the current generation of Planet Earth’s leaders and consumers got us to where we are today, the poem reminds us of simpler times to appreciate Mother Nature each day and night. By appreciating and enjoying Nature with our youth, we can work together to preserve the circle of life which sustains us.
As our youth mature to adulthood, we can pave the road for the young trailblazers to help us solve some of the world’s toughest energy and environmental issues. They will be able to learn from our mistakes and join us to be part of a solution for a greener future: to change our world.
As UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon states, “ ‘Change Our World’ is more than the theme for this year’s International Youth Day; it is an injunction that should inspire young people at all times…. Young people are gifted with open minds and a keen awareness of emerging trends, and are bringing their energy, ideas and courage to some of the most complex and important challenges facing the human family….And they are often the leading proponents of sustainability and green lifestyles.”
In summary, Ban Ki-moon declares: “To them I say: you have the opportunity to change our world. Seize it.”
Note: if you sign up to this blog , you can receive a free copy of the eBook “Good Night Earth” (a children’s poem), to celebrate United Nations International Youth Day.
Some useful fact sheets for those involved with young people
- Youth Employment
- Armed Conflict
- Youth and Climate Change
- HIV and Young People
- Girls and Young Women
- Youth and Hunger
- Youth Participation
- Youth and intergenerational partnerships
- Youth as a Smart Investment
- Health of Young People
- Youth and Volunteerism
- Youth Fostering Dialogue and Mutual Understanding
- Youth with disabilities
- Regional Overview: Youth in Africa
- Regional Overview: Youth in the Arab Region
- Regional Overview: Youth in Asia and the Pacific
- Information and Communication Technology