Our goal was to make a big splash at the High Level Meeting on youth, connecting with leaders in the youth development space to launch Youthmovements.org , a platform which seeks to increase the overall strength of young people to create change.
The backdrop for this mission was the High Level Meeting on Youth (HLM) at the United Nations, where International NGOs, UN agencies and National delegations were meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to take stock of the state of youth development, to discuss how young people can be supported in creating a sustainable future and to review progress on the World Youth Program of Action on Youth.
One of our major areas of focus was the launch of The Youth Effect, a brand new handbook for decision makers developed by young global leaders as part of the World Economic Forum about how to effectively involve young people in decision making.
The launch of youthmovements.org falls at the end of the international year of youth during which the UN turned its focus to the themes of Dialogue and Mutual Understanding. The Year also coincided with the 25th anniversary of the first International Youth Year in 1985. I, along with most of the youth delegates I met at the UN were not around to see the original year, and with the challenges we are facing as a global community, we do not have another twenty five years for our desire for a better world to be realized.
My generation has a great advantage over all previous cohorts: the access to information afforded to us by technology has the potential to empower us, allowing us to connect faster and wider than ever before. We also have access huge amounts of information to assist us in the decisions that we must make. There are so many possibilities available, so many directions that we can take, that it can be difficult to decide where to direct our energies.
Strategy is important to consider, when realigning the global economy within the carrying capacity of the planet is your goal and at the side event How to mobilise Youth Globally for Rio+20 strategies were abundant. The environmental movement has undergone many evolutions throughout the years, but many see the Earth Summit of 1992 as a key date in the global movement’s history, the most successful Global Summit ever hosted by the UN. Twenty years later, (June 2012) leaders will reconvene in Rio to take stock of progress and to look to the future. Peace Child International and TIG co-moderated the side event at the HLM to bring together experts from UNICEF, One Young World, & Avaaz to look at the road to Rio and to share ideas how to ensure that young people’s voices are heard and acted upon. We also displayed the latest Perspectives Magazine, which details artistic works about global challenges which have been compiled from the last round of the Adobe Youth Voices Project. After hearing report backs from those who are leading parts of the engagement, the room broke into smaller inquiry groups to discuss our own ideas on how to remake the global economy to fit within natural limits and suit the needs of 7 billion.
The following day, members of the Global Youth Aids Coalition (GYCA) were out in full force, displaying winning art entries from Aids activists and artists through The Global Creative Contest - while also running two simultaneous side events at UN Plaza. On one hand Lindsay Menard Freeman, spoke on the panel Out Of The Box Advocacy: Influencing change through creative communications and social media with partners from Youth Coalition, IPPF, Y‐PEER, Governess Films, Advocates for Youth, and YouAct.
Meanwhile at UNHQ, other members of GYCA were meeting with decision makers about their role in the AIDS response at the event Crossfire: A dialogue between youth leaders and decision‐makers to answer the tough questions on HIV and young people. Brought together by UNAIDS and the UNFPA, this event was an opportunity to review current policies and practices of youth engagement and to push leaders to do more. As the dialogue continued, it was became apparent that many decisionmakers were making progress in engaging young people to respond to the Aids crisis, but there is still much work to do.
Later that evening, the focus would turn from decision makers to young leaders, who were meeting as part of Nexus the Global Youth Summit. Our founder, Jennifer Corriero adressed the engaged young people attending the summit.
In many ways, this project represents the culmination of the work TIG has been conducting over the last ten years. Now is the time to connect the dots between movements, to weave a more connected global community with youth at the center, to build bridges between the world we want and the future we deserve. Going beyond the traditional barriers and divisions to reveal the linkages, the commonalities and the unity of these diverse issues and challenges is exactly the focus and challenge before us as a global community. time to connect the dots between movements, to weave a more connected global community with youth at the center, to build bridges between the world we want and the future we deserve. Going beyond the traditional barriers and divisions to reveal the linkages, the commonalities and the unity of these diverse issues and challenges is exactly the focus and challenge before us, thankfully we can forge alliances and collaborations to rise to the occassion.