Youth Flash Newsletter April 2012
In this issue of Youth Flash we continue to hear updates from the work of the Major Group on Children and Youth as they gear up towards Rio+20.
- Rio+20: Negotiating Our Way One Step Closer by the Major Group on Children and Youth
- Rio+20: An inclusive approach to sustainable development by Olimar Maisonet-Guzmán on behalf of the Objectives Taskforce of the Major Group of Children and Youth.
Rocking the Road to Rio+20
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This June, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The conference is commonly known as Rio+20 because it commemorates the 20-year anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit.
Young people have been participating in the Rio+20 process as part of the Major Group of Children and Youth (MGCY). For us, Rio+20 is more than an environmental conference. Rio+20 is an opportunity to propose new paradigms for sustainable development and to engage all stakeholders in future development policies. We want to take this opportunity and remind everyone that Rio cannot be branded just as an “environmental conference”. Rio+20 will be about integrating the three pillars of sustainable development: environment protection, socio-political processes and economic development. Consequently, all the pillars and actors must be equally involved and invested in the outcome of the process.
Rio+20 is indeed about sustainable development, which includes not only the environmental conservation and protection component in development, but equally assesses national, regional and global economic and social progress. Additionally, Rio+20 must guarantee that human rights, gender equity, access to resource, and the wellbeing of future generations are protected in this new paradigm of development
Rio +20 has been linked back to 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment as well as the 1992 Earth Summit, both of which had a much heavier focus on the environmental pillar. Therefore, it is natural that many of the participating stakeholders, particularly those in the private sector, have kept away from engaging in the process.
These are crucial times. Decisions made at Rio+20 will impact our future and that of future generations. In reality, investors, businesses, and other private sector actors have a large stake in sustainable development. Additionally, the decisions made at Rio+20 will also impact the way the function. We cannot afford further fragmentation in the social movement toward Rio+20. We as Major Groups, have a responsibility to deliver a unified front at Rio+20 to promote sustainable development policies and practices that will benefit our constituencies. This is the only way we can guarantee that Rio+20 will deliver the future that we want.
It’s hard to believe that we’re just two months away from Rio+20, deemed the largest and most important UN conference on sustainable development in history. At the recent Youth 21 Conference: Building for Change, former South African president Thabo Mbeki spoke to youth about leadership and democratic governance for sustainable development. He cited Franz Fanon saying that, “each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it”. Overcoming the current global challenges and setting in motion sustainable lifestyles is this generation’s mission, and their involvement is crucial to fulfill it. Participating in Rio+20 is one way for young people to get involved.
International activities and negotiations for Rio+20 are in full force. The Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) – the official voice for young people in the UN sustainability negotiations – has been actively involved. In this issue, we’ll tell you about some of the international activities the MGCY has been participating in, and how you can get involved in building the youth voice for Rio+20.
Informal-Informals and Third Intersessional: New York
The first round of ‘informal-informal’ negotiations on the Zero Draft of the Rio+20 outcome document was held from 19–23 March 2012, followed by the Third Intersessional from 24-26 March 2012 at the UN Headquarters in New York. The MGCY was present at both of these events, actively lobbying for their policy points to be included in the negotiating text.
There is a growing frustration from civil society that the outcome document is lacking prescriptive language, meaning there is little to commit governments to the provision of finance, technology transfers and capacity building in support of sustainable development efforts. There is a concern that human rights are being watered down with some believing this is a systematic attempt from powerful states to ‘delete our rights and bracket our future’ (Quintos, 2012). Government delegations argue that they do not want to reiterate what past documents have already made clear, and do not want to reference things that are currently being discussed in other forums.
The thematic debate continues. Two months from Rio+20, the green economy is still not fully conceptualised, nor is the Institutional Framework on Sustainable Development. The motion to have an Ombudsman for Future Generations – a position that the MGCY fully supports – has been tabled because there is uncertainty about who this person would be, what they would do, and what UN office they would belong to. The role of UNEP continues to be discussed, with talk of needing multilateral cooperation and strengthening of institutions.
What does this all mean?
What all this means, essentially, is that civil society needs to up its game. With a growing concern that Rio+20 will become another ineffective conference, marked by a voluntary approach to correcting the extreme challenges of the planet, civil society needs to put more pressure on their governments to act differently. This is where you can get involved.
A key component of the MGCY is inspiring and platforming youth activism, so that global action embraces local perspectives, and local perspectives are expanded with global understanding, in the pursuit of sustainability. To do this, the MGCY has established a series of ‘working groups’, which are different collections of people who work according to their particular interest or skill. Ranging from communications, to campaigns, to involving children, and supporting the MGCY Youth Blast, the working groups are aimed at connecting people together to help build the youth voice for sustainability.
Act now. Fulfill your mission to implementing sustainability in our lifetime. Get involved with the MGCY as we prepare for Rio+20.
We are always looking for ways to include more young people in our activities, so if you have ideas or want to contribute in anyway, please let us know.
For an overview of the MGCY contribution to the negotiating text visit:
If you would like to get involved with the MGCY policy negotiations visit:
If you would like to get involved in the MGCY working groups visit:
The Global Environmental Outlook for Youth: “Tunza Acting for a Better World”.
We are currently collecting best practices by young people globally chosen case studies will be published in a UNEP publication that will be out prior to Rio+20! Share your solutions or projects or stories with us and help us share what you are doing that works with the world! Take a few minutes to fill out this form: http://bit.ly/GEOYouthEnvBestPractices
You can also send us your photos by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org but please remember that they have to be photos you have taken....and you are giving us permission to publish them by emailing them in.
News from UN Offices
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FAO has launched the pilot testing of the new Water Challenge badge for 5 to 20 year olds, the resource is intended to help raise awareness, educate, and encourage individual to take action in their local communities on water related issues.
If your group is interested in being involved in the pilot testing please contact email@example.com
A historic four day global meeting, called "Youth 21 – Building for Change", and bringing together over 250 youth with governments, UN agencies, researchers, private sector and civil society closed in Nairobi at the weekend with the release of the Nairobi Statement, a roadmap for the greater inclusion of youth in the UN system.
The Nairobi Statement follows up on the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's commitment to supporting youth empowerment globally through the appointment of a Special Advisor on Youth. The Statement commends the Secretary General on his commitment to youth and appointment of the Special Advisor.
The Statement outlines a series of recommendations that seeks to assure that the Special Advisor has the mandate to fully engage youth globally, requesting that the Special Advisor be a young person who is able to mainstream youth in decision making across the system.
The Nairobi Declaration requests that the Secretary General goes further in engaging youth through establishing a UN Permanent Forum on Youth. The recommendation includes a suggestion that the Forum be constituted by different stakeholders including representatives of youth organizations globally, and would be tasked to work with the Special Advisor on assuring that the voices of youth, especially those most marginalized and vulnerable, be heard.
Ms. Serverine Macedo, the Brazilian National Youth Secretary read a joint statement from the Governments of Brazil and Norway, a statement supported by the Governments of Benin, Mexico and Sri Lanka, supporting the Nairobi Statement, and the appointment of the Special Advisor and the creation of a Permanent Forum on Youth.
Ms. Macedo emphasized the strategic importance of empowering youth, who now number 3 billion globally, and their need to be engaged as leaders to bring about sustainable development for the overcoming of poverty and also for social, economic, cultural and political inclusion.
The Nairobi meeting is the first of its kind, and was co-organised by UN-Habitat and UNDP in the spirit of one UN
On the occasion of the 45th Session of the Commission on Population and Development on the theme "Adolescents and Youth", the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is hosting a consultation with young people to seek inputs into its new strategy on adolescents and youth. The consultation will take place at UNFPA Headquarters from 4pm-6pm on Sunday 22 April. UNFPA will host a high-level interactive side-event on young people's access to sexual and reproductive health on 23 April from 1pm-2pm. UNFPA will also co-host a side event on advancing HIV prevention among young people with UNAIDS, UNWOMEN and the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS on 25 April from 6pm-8pm. For more details, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adolescents and youth central to population and development issues
The forty-fifth session of the Commission on Population and Development will discuss the theme of “Adolescents and youth” from 23-27 April 2012 in New York.
There are over 1.8 billion young people aged 10 to 24 years worldwide, the largest generation of adolescents and youth in history. The Commission on Population and Development will examine how trends in the size and structure of the youth population affect the investments in education, health, including sexual and reproductive health, and livelihoods that are essential for adolescents and youth to achieve their full potential andcontribute to sustainable and equitable development.
Participation in the Commission is open to NGOs that are accredited with ECOSOC. The registration deadline is 6 April 2012.
The UNODC Youth Initiative was officially launched during the 55th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), organised 12-16 March 2012, to engage and empower young people to reflect on the effects of substance use in their schools and communities and to start taking action against it. The Initiative is connecting youth globally through social media to discuss, inspire, and learn from each other on the ways of promoting healthy lifestyles and start creating activities mobilising their peers, families, schools, and communities. A small number of young people participating in the initiative in 5 different continents were also invited to attend the CND to present their views regarding the substance abuse and its prevention, and to learn about international drug policies.
Measuring Success of Youth Livelihood Interventions
The importance of providing young people with jobs and economic opportunities is at the forefront of the development debate. Unfortunately, very little is known about the quality or impact of youth livelihood interventions because very few programs have been carefully evaluated, especially in developing countries. In order to help practitioners learn from their projects and contribute to building the evidence base on youth employment, this Guide offers an accessible introduction to the topic of monitoring and evaluation and to its practical application in the youth livelihood field. The Guide helps decide what type of evaluation is appropriate given the characteristics and context of an intervention and provides the basic set of concepts and tools to carry out impact evaluations. To download the publication visit: http://gpye.org/measuring-success-youth-livelihood-interventions.
Global Partnership for Youth Employment celebrates 3rd birthday
Since its inception in late 2008, the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Youth Employment has made important progress in generating new knowledge about youth employment outcomes and in bringing together a wide range of stakeholders to work together and learn from each other. For the future, the partnership intends to further strengthen youth employment stakeholders across the globe and incubate new initiatives to benefit the international community at large.
For more information visit: www.gpye.org
Young people continue to be the hardest hit by the jobs crisis. In both developed and developing countries, youth unemployment and underemployment rates have reached alarming levels. In July this year, ECOSOC will address the challenge of increasing productive capacity and promoting employment and decent work. In preparation, on 4 May, The UN Department of Public Information and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs will organize a youth conference on “Creating a Sustainable Future: Empowering Youth with Better Job Opportunities”, which will be attended by youth representatives from diverse backgrounds. The primary target audience is young men and women (15 – 32 years old). Representatives of the private sector, the academic community, and civil society engaged in youth issues will be invited to participate.
This event will be open to NGO representatives with valid access passes only. No event passes will be issued for this half-day event. For information contact email@example.com. See background note below for additional information on the event. More information: http://csonet.org/content/documents/4May.pdf
Youth in Action
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Education & Awareness-raising for Rio+20:
The Education Hub for the UN’s Rio+20 Summit
brings together everything Peace Child has ever published on the Rio Earth Summit Process – from our Children’s Edition of Agenda 21: Rescue Mission : Planet Earth, to our Johannesburg update: Rescue 2002, our Copenhagen briefing: Energy Revolution – to the 6 new Education Booklets on Sustainable Human Development prepared for Rio+20, loosely based on the UN Human Development Reports and the UNEP Green Economy briefing. All these are created by young people for young people – based on original UN documents, almost all of which are featured on the Background section of the site.
Our goal is to get every school on the planet to teach their students about the crucial issues addressed by Rio+20: the website Home page starts with seven jargon-free slides that summarise some of the Rio+20 issues, linked to posters outlining some solutions. It goes on to propose ideas for Action:
1. The UNESCO-supported ‘My City+20’ – Model Rio Earth Summit idea;
2. A DAY OF ACTION AND LEARNING for Rio+20.
3. A ‘Do it yourself Green Economy Transition Plan’ – for your self – your household – your community – and your Nation.
The site also links to the UN’s Rio+20 sites and its Global Conversation Campaign: The Future We Want. It will, we hope – through the Add section – link to many other great initiatives for action and awareness-raising. Like your’s! Please share your ideas with me, or Simon Howlett, the young webmaster who created the site, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peace Child International has worked continuously on the Rio Earth Summit Agenda since 1992. For us, the road does not end in Rio: it begins again in Rio this June – and continues for the rest of our lives, seeking – struggling – committing – innovating – and energizing our communities and nations for SUSTAINABILITY. It is truly our generational challenge: and we hope this site will help us all rise to it.
The online voting of the Rio+20 Global Youth Music Contest has now started at www.global-rockstar.net and everyone is invited to watch at least five music videos and vote for the favorites. The contest organized on the occasion of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development was launched in September 2011 by the International Association for the Advancement of Innovative Approaches to Global Challenges (IAAI - www.glocha.info) after an International Workshop that brought together more than 30 youth from all around the world who designed the contest guidelines. An active group of 100 and plus youth has been working hard as Regional and National Coordinators and committed to ensure its success around 50 countries. More than 250 videos from 40 countries were received from children up to 14 years and youth up to 30 years. The competition gives children and youth from around the world a voice in Rio+20 and has encouraged them to express their hopes, concerns and thoughts on future of our earth by using music. Winners will be selected through an online voting in the children and youth category and will be awarded a trip to Rio+20 and an opportunity to perform there at one of the big events there. The contest now encourages everyone to listen to these messages of global youth, hear what they have to say, learn from them, express appreciation by voting for the most inspiring videos and join the youth efforts towards making Rio+20 conference a big success. The phase of spreading the message to those preparing Rio+20 Conference and to the general global public has been launched so that people show appreciation for this wonderful collaborative effort of global youth energizing Rio+20.
One of the key contribution of the contest to the Rio+20 conference is to work towards a ‘global citizen participation’ and ‘resource mobilization’ aspect of designing at Rio+20 a United Nations led global innovation system for sustainable development. Therefore the contest team has been working hard to ensure the availability of an Issues Cluster on Innovation which proposes a ‘15/15/15 UN Civil Society Resource Mobilization Partnership Formula’ saying that global civil society on the one hand commits at Rio+20 to mobilize 15 billion Euros and 15 million volunteers by the year 2015 for UN led sustainable development efforts and on the other hand requests new forms of participation in global sustainable development governance. Many youth and international partners are supporting the contest and the number is increasing. More are welcome to join this initiative as key partners with mobilizes global youth for The Future We Want !
For information contact: Jean Paul Brice Affana, the Global Coordinator at email@example.com, Anam Gill, the Outreach and Communication Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as Miroslav Polzer, the Secretary-general of IAAI and Rio+20 Issues Cluster “Innovation” at email@example.com. Visit our websites at www.glocha.info and http://www.global-rockstar.net
‘Let the music talk, let the rhythm play and let the world know what the youth have to say!’
The 12th Melaka International Youth Dialogue (MIYD) entitled ‘HEALTH IT’S MY RIGHT’ is due to be held from 28th to 30th June 2012 in Melaka, Malaysia. The MIYD is organized by WAY in collaboration with the Melaka State Government, Malaysian Youth Council, Asian Youth Council and Ministry of Youth and Sports, Malaysia.
The theme ‘Health, it’s My Right!’ is recognized to fulfill the predominant opinions of young people hence an interactive discussion on this topic will be of significance to form, educate, increase awareness and promote gender equality in the different levels of society that we represent.
As this is an open invitation, we kindly request for you to share and disseminate this information amongst your networks and other interested persons. Kindly find attached necessary information and other documentation for your perusal.
MIYD Organizing Committee: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.way.org.my
The 3rd University Scholars Leadership Symposium will take place in Bali, Indonesia from August 1 to 7, 2012.
The event will see a culmination of 500 young people from Leading Universities of the World discussing on issues pertaining to poverty reduction, sustainable development, leadership and humanitarian work.
The Bali Symposium aims to draw attention of young people to take proactive action to contribute to the achievement for a sustainable future, which is consonance with the United Nations Millennium Developmental Goals. Succinctly, it expects to break down the barriers between nations and create strong linkages among young people.
Formal Education enables us to perform effectively in academic and working realm. However, the acquisition of knowledge by attending an International Symposium is often the most powerful way of learning.
Humanitarian Affairs United Kingdom is a member of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organisation and the World Alliance for Citizens Participation. It initiates and supports humanitarian reliefs efforts and development programs in countries that are poverty stricken and disaster-prone. All their programmes are supported by the United Nations.
If you are a young person and would like to play a role as a Global Citizen; then this is the event not to be missed. Those working in the NGOs; Government Departments; National Youth Council are strongly encourage to attend this yearly event. More information of the Symposium can be obtained from the event's website at : www.universityscholars.org.uk
We provide young people with opportunities to engage in humanitarian service, strengthen their awareness of diverse cultures, and develop a lifelong commitment to helping others by participating in relief efforts to benefit impoverished communities in poverty-stricken countries.