The International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organisations (ICMYO) gathers membership-based, democratic, representative and accountable International Youth NGOs (INGYOs) and Regional Youth Platforms (RYPs). The main objectives of ICMYO are the strengthening of the cooperation among youth organisations at the regional and global levels and the coordination of political inputs to global youth policy processes.
The ICMYO is organised at least once a year under the responsibility of a Taskforce (currently WAGGGS, WSCF, YMCA, WOSM, Pax Romana, GYG and YFJ). In-between the meetings the Organisations participating to the ICMYO keep the coordination among each other as an informal network. In order to become as representative and inclusive as possible, ICMYO identified regions/countries of special attention in order to get their particular youth perspective also into global processes.
Principles and Goals of Global Cooperation
Further to an initial discussion on the expectations of the present organisations as regards to global cooperation, the first ICMYO in 2004 agreed upon the following principles and goals for global youth cooperation, as well as on essential means to achieve them.
Goals of Global Youth Cooperation
Why do our organisations believe in cooperating and with which purpose?
– Exchange information and best practices.
– To become stronger and overcome individual limitations (Financial, geographic…).
– To influence political processes and decisions of international institutions working/impacting youth issues.
– To work together in our common thematic priorities.
– Increase our access to international institutions working/impacting on youth issues.
– Share information about ongoing global youth issues and processes.
Principles for Global Cooperation
With which youth organisations should we engage in political dialogue/processes?
– Youth NGOs (35 years old as maximum age reference for representatives).
– Democratic processes.
– Membership based youth organisations (assuring a link between the local, the national, the regional and the global levels).
– Accountability and transparency.
– Legitimacy and credibility.
– Constructive, positive common goals.
– Effectiveness and Efficiency impacts.
– Sustainability of the global cooperation.
– Respect of cultural and ideological diversity, including Human Rights.
How can we cooperate globally?
– Have at least an ICMYO every year.
– Maintain communication by email in between meetings.
– Request International Institutions to invite all our organisations to global consultation processes on youth.
– Keep ICMYO as an informal coordination space.
From Geneva to Mollina
From July 11th to 13th, 2004, more than 20 Regional Youth Platforms and International Non Governmental Youth Organizations with a Global outreach met in Geneva, Switzerland to develop ways to strengthen cooperation at the regional and at the international levels. At the meeting, the delegates developed strategies to outreach to other potential partners, reflected on ways to strengthen regional cooperation and drafted a set of principles and goals of global cooperation.
At the end of the meeting, it was agreed to continue the ICMYO process into the future by organizing informal meetings during the global youth events and by holding a second ICMYO in July of 2005.
The Youth Employment Network
During ICMYO, the delegates nominated 13 organizations to participate in the Youth Consultative Group (YCG) of the Youth Employment Network, a joint initiative of the UN, the International labor Organization and the World Bank. The meetings of the YCG in Washington (September, 2004) and Beijing (May, 2005) facilitated much interaction between ICMYO members. ICMYO members also worked closely with each other in preparing events related to youth at the ILO General Conference in June, 2005.
World Youth Festival
Barcelona: From August 8th to 14th 2004, many of the ICMYO members were actively involved in organizing the World Youth Festival 2004. During the festival, the ICMYO members took advantage of the space to meet and to follow-up to the Geneva meeting.
Second Annual World Bank Youth, Development and Peace Conference
Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina): Several of the ICMYO members participated in the second annual World Bank Youth, Development and Peace (YDP) conference (5-7 September 2004). Several of the ICMYO members were involved in the planning and follow-up to the conference. During the Conference, the ICMYO members met together to share strategies and took leading roles as moderators of the working groups and sessions.
At the conference, the participants and the World Bank agreed to establish an informal network on youth. On November 30th several ICMYO Organizations met with the World Bank to develop a mission statement for the YDP Network.
UN Youth Consultations
Coimbra, Portugal: In response to the UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/58/133, the UN Youth Focal Point organized a consultative Meeting on the 10-Year Review of the World Program of Action for Youth. During the consultation meetings, ICMYO members took leadership roles as facilitators and rapporteurs. To be more effective, the ICMYO members met several times to share their experiences and collaborate with each other. As a result of their consultation with each other, most of the concerns of ICMYO members were able to be reflected in the final outcome document that will be presented to the UN General Assembly.
Commission for Social Development
UN Headquarters: Several weeks later the UN Youth Focal Point organized a panel discussion during the Commission for Social Development. At the Coimbra Consultations, the ICMYO organizations nominated the European Youth Forum to present the outcomes of the Consultations as part of the panel.
On February 26th 2005, nine ICMYO organizations met at the FAO in Rome to look at the need to fight hunger and poverty as part of the World Youth Form against Hunger and Poverty.
UNESCO Joint Programmatic Commission
Paris: Several ICMYO members have been working together to strengthen the Joint Programmatic Commission working at UNESCO, especially in the preparation for the regular UNESCO Youth Forum (next one in 2009).
Geneva: For several years, ICMYO members have been working together to strengthen the CONGO NGO Youth Committee in Geneva.
Joint Letter on UN Youth Reform
In July 2008, Most of the ICMYO participants (with the support of the IFRC and the UNFPA) wrote a joint letter to UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon on the need for greater coordination of the UN and UN Agencies in global youth policy.
World Bank YDP Forum on Non Formal Education
Washington, DC: On June 20th and 21st 2005, seven ICMYO members participated in the World Bank YDP Forum on Non Formal Education (NFE). The Forum looked at the importance of youth NGOs as agents of NFE. As part of the Forum, the participants also had the opportunity to speak with the coordinator of the 2007 World Development Report, which will focus on youth.
YDP Steering Committee
Washington, DC: On June 22nd 2005, four ICMYO members participated in the first meeting of the World Bank Youth Development and Peace Network Steering Committee. The meeting looked at how to move the network forward at the three levels of advocacy, knowledge and operations. Another, similar meeting took place in 2007. Since 2007 the cooperation with the World Bank in the framework of ICMYO has been limited.
UNFPA Global Youth Advisory Panel
By invitation from the UNFPA the ICMYO meetings in 2008 and 2009 have nominated two representatives of the organisations to the UNFPA Global Youth Advisory Panel (GYAP). In 2010 the GYAP was under evaluation.
Alliance of Civilizations Youth Advisory Committee
In addition to the Regional Youth Platforms already being members of the AoC Youth Advisory Committee the ICMYO has by invitation by the AoC also appointed one of the global organisations to hold the position as observer in the Youth Advisory Committee. Youth is a transversal issue in the work of the alliance and the Youth Advisory Committe has been important in the preparations and improvements of the Alliance of Civilizations Youth Forums.
World Youth Conference 2010
In August 2010 the Government of Mexico, in cooperation with UNFPA, invited the world’s Youth Ministers to a World Youth Conference in León, Mexico. A Social Forum Organizing Committee, constituted by 10 ICMYO organisations, prepared the Socia Forum, including the NGO Global Meeting, which was linked to the Ministers Conference. Mexico brought the conclusions of the conference to the UN General Assembly High Level Segment on the 2010 MDG revision.