The eighth International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organizations (ICMYO) taking place at the Cairo International Scout Centre, Egypt is now underway.
One of the themes of this year’s meeting is about understanding some of the local issues young people are facing in the region and making the connections from the local to the global level. Representatives from the Arab regions of WSCF and WOSM opened the meeting with presentations describing some of the challenges young people are facing, giving a first insight to the outcomes from the recent uprisings and the “Arab Spring.”
ICMYO participants were also pleased to welcome a new participating organization – the World Federation of Deaf Youth Section (WFDYS) which aims to advocate for the human rights of Deaf youth worldwide, representing 133 national deaf associations for young people across the world. The WFDYS follows the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in its work, and it was agreed that their participation will certainly bring different insights to the network, and into the different UN processes in which we are involved.
Another highlight from the first day was a presentation from Falu Njie, Deputy Director of the UN Millennium Campaign, on how youth organizations can engage in the important debates on the development framework after 2015. He gave important insights on how youth can ensure that their voices are heard in the discussions and their needs are taken into account when governments around the world agree on how they will follow up the work which began at the Millennium Summit in 2001.
ICMYO participants also updated each other on the outcomes of the key UN and global events taking place throughout the year, including Rio+20, COP17, and initiatives such as Youth 21 which are focused on ensuring the voice of youth is better recognized and included in UN processes. Discussions on how ICMYO members can work together to co-ordinate with and support each other in these processes will continue over the weekend.