In the letter to H.E UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon 25 Global Youth Organisations and Regional Youth Platforms requested a meeting with the Secretary General. As a response to that letter the organisations participating to the International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organisations which where present in New York during the General Assembly of the United Nations (European Youth Forum, Pax Romana, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, World Organisation of the Scout Movement and the World Christian Student Federation) where received by the Assistant Secretary General Rachel N. Mayanja.
Gender and Youth Mainstreaming
Ms Mayanja is the Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women and in particular interest for youth organisations since she is responsible for gender equality mainstreaming and coordination and the ICMYO organisations in their letter to the secretary general asked for a stronger coordination and mainstreaming of youth issues in the work of the UN.
Mechanisms for consulting youth organisations
The Assistant Secretary General did not share the concern of the ICMYO organisations that the emphasis and focus on youth has decreased with the current administration. She guaranteed that the current administration indeed put a lot of emphasis on youth and announced a new initiative to set up a UN Youth Development Network as an example – but promised to pass the messages from the organisations on to the Secretary General.
Further, the coordinator of the UN Focal Point on Youth, who also participated in the meeting, agreed on using the International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organisations as a tool for consulting the youth organisations both on the upcoming initiative of UN Youth Development Network and the 2009 World Youth Report, which will focus on Climate Change.
Must be an ongoing process
For the Secretary General’s report on the implementation of the World Program of Action for Youth (WPAY) to the Commission for Social Development it is too late to feed in this year but the Assistant Secretary General pointed out UN DESA’s long traditions for working with NGOs and meant that this should be possible to implement for the future also on the reports on youth. This was one of the concerns of the ICMYO organisations at the last meeting in June this year.
Knowing that the UN Focal Point on Youth will soon take over a new position in the UN the organisations present at the meeting stressed that this must be a mechanism established for a longer term and not only depend on the current administration of the UN Program on Youth or be on an ad-hoc basis. Thus there should be coherence in the participation of youth-led organisations in the UN processes on youth, and the organisations can know what to expect. The Assistant Secretary General saw this challenge and even indicated that a task-force could be established to ensure the input of youth-led organisations.
The new UN Focal Point on Youth will soon receive an invitation for the International Coordination Meeting of Youth organisations which will be held in June 2009.