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Process Cluster 11- World Humanitarian Summit:

The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), which is being hosted by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), will take place in Istanbul in 2016.  The WHS was initiated by UNSG Ban Ki-Moon as to renew the world’s coordination of humanitarian assistance.  OCHA reached out to the UN Advocacy Team to discuss how to involve youth in the WHS consultation and policy process.  After making the necessary connections, OCHA is now working with the MGCY and ICMYO organizations to establish a WHS Youth Task Force, which will be the lead youth body throughout the WHS process.  The team is playing a leading role in the creation of the Task Force and will participate in its work.  Already, a survey is being formulated to gather the voices of youth in preparation for the WHS.

 

Other Notable Events:

United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Youth Solidarity Fund Training (5 - 10 February 2014):

UN Advocacy Team member, Carlos Lopes, attended a training hosted by the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) in Istanbul, Turkey.  The training featured four days of workshops on the topics of gender mainstreaming, evaluation and monitoring, organizational strengthening and development, and social entrepreneurship.  The training session primarily focused on smaller youth-led organizations that were early in their life cycle.  An important development occurred during these sessions in which organizations were granted a donor-mapping package: Pages of organizations the UNAOC had researched that would help Pax Romana in achieving its goals.  Each of these packages was specifically curated for each individual organization to meet appropriate goals and targets.

Rio+20s/Children and Youth International Board Meeting (May 2014):

Directly after the World Conference on Youth in Sri Lanka, the members of Rio+20s met in order to elect a new board and chart a way forward for the organization and the MGCY.  Essentially, Rio+20s is the body that oversees the finances of the MGCY.  As a result, the board at the time believed it was important to expand the number of board members and seek to elect a more diverse group of people.  Chris and Aashish Khullar, the UN Advocacy Team’s Expert on Sustainable Development Policy, were elected to the board and now work with other young people from every corner of the globe on the programming work that allows the Major Groups to actually receive the grants earmarked for them by organizations like the European Union.  In order to move away from a strong association with the Rio+20 conference, the organization has now changed its name to Children and Youth International (CYI) and is in the process of finalizing the projects and programs that will release funds from a number of grants to the MGCY. 

World We Want Trainings (Spring and Fall 2014)

UN Advocacy Team Member, Anna Marienko, represented IMCS and the MGCY at the WorldWeWant.de and Friends workshop in Bonn, Germany in the spring of 2014, as well as in Berlin in the fall of 2014.  Twenty young people between the ages of 15 and 21 coming from different countries, with different social, cultural and economic backgrounds, but having a common vision of a fair and sustainable future for all, attended the workshop.  The workshop aimed at integrating the voices of youth from all over the world into the Post-2015 Development Agenda.  It allowed young people to discuss, develop, and share ideas and suggestions for the “World of Tomorrow” that future leaders and global citizens would inherit.  It was observed that although WorldWeWant.de is a fairly new program, it has already initiated significant steps in terms of helping young people to voice their concerns and demands around the international sustainable development debates.  Conceived in 2013 by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German National Committee for UNICEF, WorldWeWant.de is part of the current consultations on the SDGs and has been organized with the help of the German Development Policy Forum (GIZ).  The BMZ made the workshops open to international participants in order to widen the areas of discussion and include the voices of young people not only from developed countries, but from across the globe.

European Youth Forum United Nations Advocacy Meeting (June 2014):

The UN Advocacy Team was invited to help lead and plan the European Youth Forum (YFJ) annual UN Advocacy Meeting (UNAM) in Brussels.  While there, the team lead sessions on advocacy, general UN processes, the MGCY, and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.  This program is meant to help the UN Youth Delegates from Europe and some of their NGO colleagues prepare for the UNGA and other UN meetings.  This year, the UN Advocacy Team’s participation helped to solidify important relationships between the team and the UN Youth Delegates, an essential means to improving advocacy around UN youth policy. 

United Nations Alliance of Civilizations - EF Summer Schools (2013 - 2014):

Chris has played and continues to play a leading role in the UNAOC - EF Summer Schools, the UNAOC’s training workshop for young social entrepreneurs.  Chris conducts trainings on advocacy, especially advocacy around the UN and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.  Chris has also played a central part in helping to expand the Summer School to include more youth activists coming through other UNAOC youth programs, like the Youth Solidarity Fund.  Chris will continue to support the Summer School and other UNAOC events as to maintain the strong relationship IMCS has with the UNAOC.

UN Department of Public Information NGO Conference (August 2014):

Chris and Aashish played leading roles in this year’s UN DPI/NGO Conference.  They were invited to sit on the drafting committee of the conference’s outcome document.  Although this role came as a bit of a surprise to the UN Advocacy Team, Chris and Aashish were able to work together with the other members of the committee to engage the NGOs active at the conference and gather their views on the OWG report and the overall SDG framework.  Chris and Aashish were also able to secure young people to read the outcome document aloud at the conclusion of the conference.  The outcome document is quite extensive and contains a plethora of suggested additions and changes to the OWG SDG report. 

The UN Advocacy Team also took advantage of its role at the conference to reach out and network with other NGOs, namely Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV).  MPV is seeking to engage with the MGCY, ICMYO, and others and the UN Advocacy Team has been helping MPV to accomplish this. 

International Union of Socialist Youth Global Seminar (November 2014):

The International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY), a leading political movement in ICMYO, invited Chris and Aashish to their Global Seminar in Stockholm, Sweden in November 2014.  Chris and Aashish conducted a number of workshops on the UN and the Post-2015 Development Agenda and helped the participants of the Global Seminar formulate a post-2015 policy and advocacy roadmap for IUSY.

Conclusion

The UN Advocacy Team is ready to take 2015 head on.  As the Post-2015 Development Agenda negotiations begin in earnest, the UN Advocacy Team is poised to help lead ICMYO and the MGCY in representing the views of young people globally.  The team is also working on a number of projects that can help put into place a framework for the participation of youth in the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.  Moreover, Chris was asked by the UNSG’s Envoy on Youth to advise his office on the post-2015 negotiations and how to better link his work with the priorities of youth-led organizations and ICMYO.  The goal now is to ensure that all of the work that has been done to promote a just, transformative, and inclusive development agenda, is translated into development on the ground for all people everywhere.

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