“We need a top-to-bottom review so our programmes and policies are working with and for young people. We don’t have a moment to lose. We have the world to gain,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier this year. Many activities are currently underway to involve young people, including six live Google+ Hangouts in the lead up to International Youth Day on 12 August.
This year’s theme is “Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth”, relating to an announcement the Secretary-General made in January, where he committed to “address the needs of the largest generation of young people the world has ever known”. Ban Ki-moon also revealed the development of a System-Wide Action Plan (SWAP) on Youth as well as the appointment of a Special Advisor on Youth and a UN Volunteer youth initiative. Five thematic areas were highlighted in developing these initiatives: employment, entrepreneurship, political inclusion, citizenship and protection of rights, and education, including on sexual and reproductive health.
One example of how the UN is partnering with and for youth is in the development of the SWAP. To ensure that young people’s input is reflected, the Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development has launched an online consultation with youth-led organizations and other stakeholders. Input received will feed directly into the work of the sub-working groups preparing the plan. The link to this survey is provided below.
In the lead-up to International Youth Day 2012, the UN will undertake a global online initiative, calling on young people around the world to commemorate the day by organizing events in partnership with civil society, Member States, the private sector, academia and philanthropists, especially in the five key thematic areas. DESA’s Social Policy and Development Division (DSPD)-Youth has developed a world map to mark International Youth Day events and invites anyone organizing an event to contact the Division at email@example.com so it can be added to the map.
Live conversations on wide range of topics
Starting on Wednesday 8 August and running through Friday 10 August, DESA’s DSPD-Youth will also host a series of six live Google+ Hangouts, aimed at sharing information and good practices, and to provoke discussion on the role of the UN, Member States and Civil Society on how to better develop partnerships with young people in these important areas. DSPD-Youth invites young people from all around the world to join in with these discussions.
SCHEDULE AND TOPICS
Wednesday, 8 August
11:00 AM EST – Political inclusion
02:00 PM EST – Citizenship and the protection of rights
Thursday, 9 August
11:00 AM EST – Employment
02:00 PM EST – Entrepreneurship
Friday, 10 August
11:00 AM EST – Education
02:00 PM EST – Education on sexual and reproductive health
You can follow the Google+Hangouts on gplus.to/unitednations and contribute with questions via Twitter and Facebook.