Last week-end youth leaders from African and European Youth Organizations met in Tripoli, Libya, to advise the Heads of States of African Union and European Union. Over three days they worked together and produced a declaration which sends strong political messages, identifies demands – and also displays the commitments from the Youth Organizations present.
Action-oriented outcome document
The 1st Africa-Europe Youth Summit took place in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2007 – and the Steering Group for the Tripoli Summit had decided to stick to the same political priorities but to aim for a more action-plan oriented outcome document from the 2010 Summit.
Amongst highlights is the commitment from the organizations to educate 1 000 000 youth in Africa and Europe on HIV prevention by 2015 and the commitment to train leaders in Youth Organizations to counteract stigma towards young people living with HIV.
But the organizations expect the same kind of commitment from the Governments, including the support to youth exchange programs allowing 100 000 young Africans and 100 000 young Europeans to participate, seed-funding for pilot projects and investment in entrepreneur and youth friendly environments.
Read the TRIPOLI_DECLARATION
Heavy debate on colonization
The final plenary where the Tripoli Declaration was adopted lasted for many hours, partly due to the challenge of finding an agreement on how to deal with a proposal to demand apologies and compensation for the period of colonization. In the end the delegates agreed to request the Heads of States to discuss this, as it still affects the youth.
Strong institutional presence
The event had strong support from various institutions in Africa and Europe, including the African Union Commission, the European Commission, Belgium as the presidency of the EU, the African Union ECOSOC, the Council of Europe Statutory Bodies and the North South Centre. The event was kindly hosted by the National Organisation of Libyan Youth, a member organisation of the Pan-African Youth Union.
The participants were recruited from the Member Organizations of the European Youth Forum and the Pan-African Youth Union, from ICMYO organizations active in Africa, from the African Diaspora Youth Network in Europe and the Advisory Council on Youth in the Council of Europe.