On Tuesday February 19th, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affair’s Division for Inclusive Social Development and the World Federation of United Nations Associations joined at the United Nations Headquarters for a panel discussion on “Achieving Inclusion and Showcasing the Work of Youth Delegates”. The event focused on how youth could and should be included into policy-making and especially how the mandate of Youth Delegates opens possibilities for youth act as agents of inclusion on the national and international level themselves. The conversation discussed barriers to inclusion faced by youth on the national and international level, while addressing the impact that is made when youth are included in decision-making processes. This event was held as a side event to the fifty-seventh session of the Commission for Social Development.
Representatives from different member states and organizations with a focus on involving youth joined the panel. The Youth Delegates, Yavor Gochev and Dilian Manolov from Bulgaria and Barbora Antonovicova from the Czech Republic were present to report how their inclusion in their national delegations has led to positive outcomes. Other panelists were Mr. Mark Kamperhoff, the Head of the EU and International Affairs Division at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth in Germany and Mr. Fernando de la Mora, Delegate at the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations who highlighted the benefits of youth participation at the United Nations and shared the perspectives of two countries which are strongy engaged in strengthening youth participation through the Youth Delegate Programme. The event was co-moderated by Marissa Storozum, Associate Social Affairs Officer at DESA-DISD and Isabelle Tibi, Global Citizenship Education Consultant representing both host organisations UN DESA-DISD and WFUNA. Inga Christina Müller, WFUNA Youth Participation Assistant, gave an intervention on the Youth Delegate Programme.
Dialogue ranged from information about the Youth Delegate Programme, over portraying youth as agents of inclusion, to sharing best practices in achieving inclusion. Promoting inclusion is a challenging mission that requires removing multiple types of barriers to participation. The panelists and many audience members had the chance to share their experiences regarding recruiting youth of all backgrounds to the Youth Delegate Programme. The Youth Delegate Programme is an opportunity for young people to represent their Member States and serve as partners to communicate in international agreements. It also serves as a platform for youth to connect their national structures with international processes. Numerous General Assembly and Commission of Social Development resolutions encourage member states of consider including youth in their delegations. In order to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality, it is important to progressively work towards the inclusion of all social groups into the decision-making process and ensure that all measures undertaken reach all groups.
Youth need to have equal opportunity to contribute to and participate in their society’s advancement. This side event was an excellent way to involve young people in the fifty-seventh session of the Commission for Social Development. Download the concept note here.
Check out the photos from this event here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskNTErwn The event was live broadcasted on UNWebTV. A video of the event can be found here: http://webtv.un.org/search/showcasing-the-work-of-un-youth-delegates-cso…
For more information about the Youth Delegate Programme visit:
• DESA UN Youth Delegate Programme Webpage (including the Guide to Youth Delegates to the United Nations) – www.un.org/development/desa/youth
• WFUNA UN Youth Delegate Programme Webpage (including the Handbook on How to Establish National Youth Delegate Programme and WFUNA Youth Delegate Programme Multipliers) – https://www.wfuna.org/