UNITED NATIONS WORLD YOUTH AWARDS GIVEN TO AFRICAN YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS20000410
NEW YORK, 10 April (DESA) -- The Youth Unit of the Division for Social Policy and Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), presented the United Nations World Youth Awards to 14 African youth organizations today at the opening of the first session of the African Youth Forum at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis-Ababa.
The Awards are given for notable achievement in implementing the United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth.
Three African regional youth non-governmental organization platforms received the awards: the All-African Student Union; Pan-African Youth Movement; and African Youth Network.
Six African regional networks of international youth non-governmental organizations will also receive awards: the Federation of African Medical Students Associations; the African Network of the World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides; the African Network of the World Young Womens Christian Association; the African Regional Office of the World Organization of the Scout Movement; the African Regional Office of Youth for Development and Cooperation; and the African Regional Office of International Young Catholic Students.
Five national youth non-governmental organization platforms received awards: Presse Jeune-National Youth Forum of Cameroon; Ethiopian Youth League; Ghana United Nations Student and Youth Association; National Union of Students of Chad; and Senegal National Youth Council.
The profiles of the three major African regional youth non-governmental organization platforms are given below:
All-African Student Union
Founded in 1972 by the First All African Student Congress at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, All-African Student Union (AASU) has been the major regional student platform for national unions of students in Africa. AASU has participated in two of the three sessions of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System (1996, 1998) and co-chaired the drafting committee of the third session, presenting the Braga Youth Action Plan to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in 1998. AASU has sponsored student leadership training courses based on the
- 2 - Press Release DEV/2241 10 April 2000
priority issues of the United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth regarding education, literacy, human rights and advancement of women students.
Pan-African Youth Movement
Established in 1962 by the Pan-African Youth Movement (MPJ) Constituent Congress in Conakry, Guinea (1962), the Pan-African Youth Movement has sponsored Pan African Youth Festivals, as well as youth leadership training seminars, voluntary service projects of a socio-economic nature based on the priority issues of the United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth. In 1996, it co- organized with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) an African Youth Forum held in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, in conjunction with the first session of the Pan African Conference on Youth and Development. MPJ has likewise participated in all three sessions of the World Youth Forum (1991, 1996 and 1998) and has been a strong supporter of the United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth in the African region.
African Youth Network
The African Youth Network (RAJ-AYN) is the youngest of the three regional youth non-governmental organization platforms in Africa and was founded after the United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth was adopted in 1995. RAJ seeks to unite national non-governmental youth councils and committees in Africa and will have two representatives from diverse countries in Africa (Botswana and Togo) attending the African Youth Forum. RAJ has attended two sessions of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System and has undertaken youth leadership training courses based on the priority issues of the United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth, such as hunger, poverty, rural development, environment, health and population.
The African Youth Forum of the United Nations System is being organized by the Youth Unit and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Economic and Social Policy Division, from 10 to 14 April at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa. It is being convened to review the implementation of the General Assemblys World Programme of Action for Youth in Africa and the implementation of the World Youth Forums Braga Youth Action Plan in Africa. It will also adopt an African Youth Statement to the fourth session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations system in Dakar, Senegal, from 5 to 12 August 2001.
The mandates for this regional youth meeting are derived from United Nations General Assembly resolutions 50/81 and 54/120 and Economic and Social Council resolution 1997/55. Such regional youth meetings were called to be organized on a biennial basis within the framework of the United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth.
In particular, United Nations regional commissions were invited within their mandates, pursuant to the World Programme of Action for Youth, to convene biennial meetings of regional youth non-governmental youth organizations, regional offices of youth-related bodies and organizations of the United Nations and regional
- 3 - Press Release DEV/2241 10 April 2000
intergovernmental organizations to review and discuss issues and trends as well as regional action.
General Assembly resolution 54/120 encouraged the United Nations regional commissions to give increased priority to national youth policies and programmes in each region and that topic will form an important part of the provisional agenda for the Forum.
Approximately 50 representatives of national and regional youth non- governmental organizations from all parts of Africa are attending the Forum, as well as representatives of youth-related organizations and agencies of the United Nations system, OAU and several bilateral development agencies of Member States. The Executive Secretary of ECA, K.Y. Amoako, has been invited to open the African Youth Forum together with the Secretary-General of the OAU, Salim A. Salim.
The African Youth Forum is one of four regional youth forums being held in 2000-2001 to both follow up the third World Youth Forum in each region and to plan for the fourth World Youth Forum. The calendar for the other regional youth forums follows: Latin American and Caribbean Youth Forum (July 2000, Panama City, Panama), Arab Youth Forum (March 2001, in Cairo, Egypt) and Asian Pacific Youth Forum (June 2001 in Bangkok, Thailand).
For more information about the African Youth Forum of the United Nations system, please contact: Juliana Gonsalves, Youth Focal Point, ECA/ESPD, tel: +251 1 51 72 00; fax: +251 1 51 03 89
* *** *