The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is the United Nations central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development. The ECOSOC Youth Forum, which was launched in 2012, provides an annual platform for youth to engage in dialogue with member states on a range of issues of interest to them. Since 2012, the Forum has become a space where young people can contribute to policy discussions at the United Nations through their collective ideas, solutions and innovations. This year ECOSOC Youth Forum took place on 2-3 February 2015, and I was selected one of the two youth representatives from Turkey by United Nations, so that I got the chance to represent Y-PEER there.
EECA Youth Voice heard at The Global Strategy meeting between UNFPA and Civil Society Organizationson on ICPD Beyond 2014 and the Post 2015 Development Agenda
The Global Strategy meeting between UNFPA and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on ICPD Beyond 2014 and the Post 2015 Development Agenda was held from 23-25 January 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey. The aim of the meeting was to ensure meaningful engagement of civil society organizations, including youth networks, among which Y-PEER, YouAct, Youth Coalition and others to ensure that the outcomes of the ICPD Beyond 2014 review process are taken forward and integrated in the best possible way into the post 2015 agenda.
Y-PEER Regional Planning Meeting
Following the Training School on Advocacy, there was a Regional Planning Meeting of Y-PEER Network lasting till 24th of November. During the meeting, the 18 young people, together with two of the International Coordinators and 3 members of the Task Force discussed topics related to the network’s priorities for the following year;
Here are some of the things we did at the meeting, coming from the participants:
Elene Sonya Chumburidze (PETRI Fellow, FPC of Y-PEER Georgia)
It was really interesting to observe how Y-PEERers from all these different regions and backgrounds came together for the benefit of the whole network. For me, it couldn’t have been more obvious that every single participant cared so much for Y-PEER and I feel the same way, as if I really grew up in Y-PEER and the meeting was once again a demonstration that we all have so many young colleagues all over the world who do amazing work both nationally and internationally and it was really inspiring to see that at the regional meeting.
Preslava Ivanova (FPC of Y-PEER Bulgaria)
The Regional Planning Meeting was a very successful event. I was really glad that I took part in it, because a lot of good practices were shared and a lot of ideas were exchanged. The people there had different backgrounds and were from different countries, but that didn’t stop us from acting like a great team with a great cause. I hope that we could manage to do all the things in our new year plan! Thank you for the wonderful time we spent!
Sevinc Samedzade (FPC of Y-PEER Azerbaijan)
I think it went pretty well, in terms of discussing key elements in development and evolution of the Y-PEER. It was very interesting to learn the perspectives of Y-PEERs in different countries, how they mobilize, how some of them is succesfull etc. In general, it was well organized and useful enough to empower new and old y-peerers.
Ana Rizescu (YouAct Coordinator)
For the Y-PEER Regional Planning Meeting, I’ve been observing things from different perspectives, as I’ve been with Y-PEER for many years, but recently I became the Coordinator of YouAct, a European youth-led network. Therefore, it felt somehow natural to see how youth collaboration continues to be valued and to be part of the Partnership Panel, together with fellow colleagues from ASTRA Youth and Y-SAFE. We have been presenting and discussing about the network’s structure, functioning, funding sources, communication and monitoring and evaluation tools. I think it was very useful for Y-PEERs to know more about these aspects from other partner networks and pick-up some of the features and details for their future organizational plans and actions.
Regional Youth Leadership Group of Youth Voice Campaign
The Regional Youth Leadership Group (RYLG) had the opportunity to participate in a back-to-back Working Group meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria last week. Representatives of YouAct, ASTRA Youth and YSAFE shared good practices and actively participated in some of the sessions from the Advocacy Training as well. But the main focus of the meeting was to revise three publications produced by the UNFPA Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia and develop shorter, youth-friendly briefs.
The publications provide a regional overview on Child Marriage, Adolescent Pregnancy and Investing in Young People. These three documents are comprehensive, but the RYLG aimed to make these reports into more youth-friendly briefs which can be used by young advocates in their countries. The RYLG revised the language and came up with creative ideas about the visualization of the briefs and graphics. Similarly, the group wrote script drafts for videos which will engage more young people on the issues.
All of the work was presented on the last day of the advocacy training. Several participants gave constructive feedback which was taken into consideration. The report was shared early this week for further feedback from everyone involved in “Youth Voice” campaign.
The RYLG was more than happy to meet with most of the young people involved in the campaign. After this meeting we feel more excited and motivated than ever to continue our work on this amazing initiative.
YouAct, member of the Regional Youth Leadership Group
Annual PETRI – Sofia Training School for Advocacy
To support the EECA Youth Voice Campaign momentum, PETRI Sofia decided to dedicate its Annual Training School to the topic of Advocacy, which brought together 57 participants from 19 countries, from the Eastern Europe and Central Asian region from organizations that are implementing their activities during the national advocacy campaigns as part of the Regional Advocacy campaign in 2014.
Training strengthened capacity of young people to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate advocacy campaigns in their countries aimed at improving the situation of young people and ensuring their issues are reflected in the post-2015 agenda as they developed concrete action plans for their national campaigns.
Here are some of the reflections of the Annual PETRI Sofia Training School participants:
Aidana Yeslamgali (Y-PEER Kazakhstan)
The annual advocacy training was held this year again in the astounding capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, organized by PETRI-Sofia. 19 countries, 57 participants – many young leaders gathered together to master the great art of advocacy. Sounds great already, doesn’t it?
Three days have passed fast and furious. Through interactive series of sessions, young advocates-to-be acquired skills of press-conferencing and became “gurus” of social media thanks to the amazing trainers.
As for me, the training was a priceless and irreplaceable experience. I was incredibly delighted to get to know many enthusiastic people who strive to transform the world to a better place to live and hear their innovative ideas – that’s the best motivation one could ask for. We are now even more entitled to plan, act and make difference.
Bernard Shaw once said: “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”. I can say now that because of this amazing event I am enabled to see in a new dimension now and what is more important, I am empowered to change the minds of other people.
Aulonë Kadriu (Peer Education Network, Kosovo)
Dynamic, interactive and very useful – would be the three words I’d use to describe the Advocay Training if I was asked to do so. There were many highly motivated young people from various parts of Europe partaking and willing to learn, so I think this made the whole training an environment of exchanging good practices and learning not only from the trainers but from our peers as well. Having the possibility to transform theory into practice and being mentored by professionals was one of the main things I would like to highlight when talking about the training.
We learned that Advocacy is more complex than we thought it was, but this doesn’t make it any harder to be practiced. Our trainers, especially Kent explained in a detailed and systematic way the main steps of Advocacy, our potential allies, our opposition and the tools we can use in achieving our goals and causes.
Thinking about every detail, planning an advocacy campaign precisely with all the steps of it included, identifying the sources and tools you can utilize in order to make your campaign as meaningful as possible and what’s the most important – preparing yourself for your potential “enemies” were definitely the most important and useful parts of this training that made us feel more skilled, informed and motivated.
For more information visit https://eecayouthvoice.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/EECAYouthVoice
Regional State of World Population Report Launch event
The State of World Population 2014, “The Power of 1.8 Billion: Adolescents, Youth and the Transformation of the Future” was recently release by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.
“Today’s record 1.8 billion young people present an enormous opportunity to transform the future,” says UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehim. “Young people are the innovators, creators, builders and leaders of the future. But they can transform the future only if they have skills, health, decision-making, and real choices in life,” he adds.
On 18 November 2014, young people from across the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region came together via video link to hear about The State of World Population 2014’s key messages and present their priorities.
The event followed up after the Press Conference organized by the UNFPA Turkey Country Office and with a moderated online conference call, connected youth from the following countries: Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Turkey. They each had 30 seconds to present their advocacy messages and arguments for investing in youth.
You can find below some photos and the video that captures young people’s messages.
Read more about the Global report: The State of World Population 2014, The Power of 1.8 Billion: Adolescents, Youth and the Transformation of the Future and the Regional supplement: Investing in Young People in Eastern Europe and Central Asia at http://eeca.unfpa.org/news/power-18-billion
Listening to the Youth Voice in Post-2015
*Originally published on http://www.youthcoalition.org in July 2014
*Article by Katie Lau
It’s time that young people were talked to and not talked about. It struck me even more clearly when I was a meeting of young activists in Hong Kong recently.
A friend and colleague put it perfectly when he said that he was tired of being a ‘tick-box quota’ – sick of being chosen to speak simply because conference organisers needed a young person who was preferably from the south.
Reinforcing that we need to meaningfully engage with young people, particularly those from the global south. And this means going further than just a tokenistic speaking slot.
Explaining Post-2015 and How Young People Can Still Get Involved
*Originally published on http://www.youthcoalition.org in August 2014
*Article by Kelly Thompson
The Post-2015 process is complicated and multi-faceted – so bear with me while I try to break it down.
Firstly, you might ask, what is so important about the year 2015? It’s not the Mayan apocalypse – that was 2012 – but it is a major year in the world of development; it is when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are set to expire. The MDGs were adopted by 189 United Nations member states (aka countries) in 2000, outlining 8 key goals in advancing development worldwide. They tackled issues like poverty, health and gender equality. These goals are due to expire in 2015 and in recent years, people globally have been focusing on not only accelerating progress of the MDGs, but also on what will happen when the MDGs expire in 2015 – aka Post-2015 or #post2015 if you’re into social media.
Young People as Stakeholders in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
*Originally published on http://www.youthcoalition.org in August 2014
*Articla by Saket Mani
At the 2010 High‐level Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly to review progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), governments called not only for accelerating progress, but also for thinking on ways to advance the UN development agenda beyond 2015. This is the origin of the discussions now underway on the Post‐2015 Development Agenda.
The United Nations does not own the global development agenda; its membership includes all governments, its mandate covers the range of issues for international cooperation, and its methods of work are open in various ways of engagement with and participation by many other types of stakeholders.