Stefan Wallin, Finnish minister of Culture and Sports, opened the International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organisations 2010. He expressed support to the activities carried out by civil society towards the International Year on Youth and the World Youth Conference. He also expressed interest in the work of various youth organisations on youth rights and challenged the organisations to identify the gaps that need to be covered – in order to get more decision-makers on board.
The International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organisations (ICMYO) met in Helsinki on 3-6th June. Participants from the five continents discussed preparations for the Mexico World Youth Conference in August, as well as the International Year on Youth, starting August 12, and the UN Summit for the Review of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in September.
World Youth Conference and the 2010 MDG Review
During the meeting, ICMYO organisations worked together towards formulating the draft declaration of the Mexico World Youth Conference and providing input into the MDG Review. Ideas from the participants included the setting up of a UN Youth Fund after the model of UNICEF or UNAIDS and/or the position of a UN High-Commissioner for youth. How to ensure the implementation of national action plans/national youth policy to safeguard the effectiveness of the World Program of Action for Youth was also discussed. One concrete proposal was that, during the 2010 International Year on Youth, all countries should allocate a certain percentage of their military service budget to youth development projects. The input of the discussion is taken on board by the Social Forum Committee of the World Youth Conference, which consists of ten ICMYO organisations.
ICMYO is growing
At the last day of the meeting the ICMYO grew as Espacio Iberoamericano de Juventud and the Youth Forum of the Portuguese-speaking communities became ICMYO organisations.
A glimpse of Finnish politics
In addition to participating in a seminar on Youth, Development and Security the ICMYO representatives got to visit the Finnish Parliament and meet with Member of Parliament Antti Kaikkonen. MP Kaikkonen was launching the process towards a European convention on Youth Rights in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe last year.
The ICMYO meeting was hosted by Allianssi, the Finnish Youth Co-operation and the Finnish Ministry of Education. The task-force directs a warm thank you to our Finnish friends who hosted us in a heart-warm and very professional manner.
UN Program on Youth and FAO present
Present at the meeting was Ms Anke Green, of the UN Program on Youth (UNPY). As well as taking note of the ideas from ICMYO organisations, she presented the “International Year on Youth; Dialogue and Mutual Understanding”, and the possibilities for youth NGOs to participate. She also presented the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development, set to be launched on the International Youth Day on the 12th August.