Contributed by: ICMYO TaskForce and Members (Asian Youth Peace Network, World Federation of United Nations Associations, International Federation of Medical Students Association, European Youth Forum)
Last 6 December, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and the International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organizations (ICMYO) co-hosted the Youth2030 Briefing. In attendance were more than a hundred youth networks and young people from around the world. This comes at an opportune time when the world is home to the largest number of young people reaching 1.8 billion, mainly from developing countries. Needless to say, the next generation of citizens are crucial to the achievement of sustainable development in the next decade.
UN Youth Envoy, Jayathma Wickramanayake opened the online event, as a celebration for the partnerships forged by young people. At the same time, challenges such as the ongoing pandemic and inequalities which youth continue to face that warrant multilateral approaches. She also cited notable progress for the past 3 years since the UN Secretary General launched the UN Youth Strategy. Youth networks have had the opportunity to participate in not only consultations but the actual implementation of the strategy, from high-level policy until the technical levels. Priorities areas have included human rights, peace and resilience, political engagement, among others. While meaningful youth engagement is at the heart of Youth 2030, young people need to help make the UN accountable in implementing multi-stakeholder partnership, while structural changes will continue to be proposed to ensure its sustainability.
The first panel entitled: Youth 2030 – Implementation Progress was moderated by Fahmida Faiza of ICMYO and Sudha Balakrishnan of the Youth2030 Secretariat. Members of the High Level Steering Committee and Joint Working Group reported on key achievements including the UN’s joint response towards the needs of youth during COVID-19 crisis, and integrating young people in the follow up and implementation of SDGs.
Key highlights include:
- High level steering committee and joint working group are both inclusive of youth networks
- 9 task teams inclusive of youth networks supporting the role out of the strategy
- 10 fast track countries advancing concerted action
- Youth 2030 progress report based on inputs from 130 UNCTs and 33 UN entities
- UN country teams implementation package launched
- Rejuvenating internships and youth workforce in the UN
- Youth 2030 scorecard for UN Country Teams in English, French, and Spanish
- Mapping of multistakeholder initiatives on youth based on extensive consultations
- Toolkit, an online collection of 800+ resources, tools and good practices across youth 2030 priority and foundational areas, including COVID-19 tools
All resources will be found in Youth 2030 online.
The second panel entitled: Young people driving Youth2030 was moderated by Regine Guevara of ICMYO and Henrik Dale of the Youth2030 Secretariat. Key youth networks: Major Group for Children and Youth and Young UN, joined ICMYO, along with audience participation, to take stock of best practices, shared challenges and potential partnerships for the past year and next.
Key highlights include:
- Youth working with mentors and gaining access to resources, with workshops certified to build capacity and online platforms to connect especially for emergency response during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Continued pursuit to work on internship and renewal of structures to ensure meaningful engagement of young people inside the UN system
- How young people can be financially supported to be part of the system: UN is working on providing scholarships.
- What can ensure the biggest impact is to bring the UN to the focus areas of one’s community, and vice versa
To stay engaged, young people may contact the Youth2030 Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org, or any of the Youth Networks at the following channels:
- International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organizations email@example.com
- Major Group for Children and Youth firstname.lastname@example.org
- Young UN email@example.com