13 April 2016 – The UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, together with a delegation of youth experts from several different agencies, began a visit to China, the first visit of its kind that brings a joint UN delegation with a focus on youth development in a country.
The visit commenced with a 2-day visit to Beijing where the delegation visited the Network Film and Television of the Committee (Youth.cn). In his discussion with senior leadership in the Network Film and Television group, Mr. Alhendawi reiterated the major role that youth play in driving the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, as well as the importance of creating enabling online environments for youth engagement. He added that digital platforms, such as CCYL’s Youth Voice Platform and Youth.cn website, bolster the potential of Chinese youth in development and sustainability efforts by giving them a space to engage with their peers and seek advice on youth rights, among other services.
The meetings of the delegation continued with a visit to Zhongguancun Entrepreneurship Avenue, often referred to as “China’s Silicon Valley”. Mr. Alhendawi and the delegation met with representatives of the Dark Horse Club, a Beijing-based private equity/venture capital fund, and learned about youth-led start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures in China.
Later in the day, the joint delegation joined a roundtable meeting with representatives of ACYF, as well as a bilateral meeting with the Mr. Zhou Changkui, Vice President of ACYF. The talks focused on strengthening the cooperation between the two organizations and covered topics such as youth rights and protection, community work, environment protection, new media and volunteerism, among others.
On the following day, the joint delegation participated in a UN town hall meeting with young people, including numerous UN Volunteers, to share their knowledge and experiences working in the UN system, as well as discuss the best methods to achieve the sustainable development goals.
Following the town hall, the joint delegation visited the Service Center of the Beijing Volunteer Service Federation (BVF), one of the largest volunteer organizations in China with an estimated 3.3 million volunteers. Founded in 1993, the BVF is the first volunteer organization on the provincial level and has volunteer teams working in urban management, cultural education, and other areas. UNV has also established a a partnership with BVF, most recently showcased in the 2015 International Volunteer Service Exchange Conference.
Alhendawi and the joint delegation concluded the Beijing stint of their trip with a visit to the Linglong community youth club in Haidian District. The community youth club serves the local community through skills training, social engagement and support of the local youth population.
The 5-day visit, hosted by the All-China Youth Federation (ACYF) and the UN Country Team in China, will take the delegation to Dezhou and Shanghai and includes numerous engagements to highlight the importance of youth contributions in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.