BALI – Six hundred youth leaders, representatives of governments, UN agencies, non-governmental and private sector organizations will convene in Bali from 4-6 December 2012 for the ICPD Global Youth Forum.
Hosted by the Indonesian Government and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, the youth-led Forum will define the future UN agenda for the 43 per cent of the world currently under the age of 25. The event is part of a formal UN process to review progress, gaps and challenges in achieving the objectives of the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The ICPD was a landmark event that made a fundamental connection between advancing the rights and health of young people, in particular young women and delivering effective, sustainable development.
Twenty years on, the UN General Assembly has tasked UNFPA to facilitate a review of implementation of he ICPD's Programme of Action. The Global Youth Forum, which will discuss and generate recommendations on health, education, employment, families, youth-rights and well-being issues, is part of this process. The recommendations will be included in a UN Secretary General report to the General Assembly in 2014 and will influence UN development goals for the next 20 years.
The Global Youth Forum is making innovative use of new technologies to connect young people to allow a greater number and greater diversity of young people into the process. In addition to those convened in Bali, recommendations will come from over 2000 virtual delegates from 126 countries, who have registered to participate and be heard using web and social media.
The event will also provide a launch pad for mPowering , a first-ever entertainment-driven mobile platform that will empower youth with information and access to education, job and health resources delivered directly to them through their mobile phones. Delegates at the Forum will be encouraged to test out the concept and provide their own ideas for actions that the app could support.
UNFPA Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin welcomes this innovative approach to engaging young people in shaping their future.
“It is exactly this kind of dynamic approach that is needed if the UN is to unleash the potential of youth to tackle significant global challenges,” Dr. Osotimehin emphasises. “Forty-three per cent of the global population is currently under the age of twenty five, a figure that rises to sixty per cent in countries such as Brazil, Tanzania and Nigeria.
"And yet there is widespread agreement that global policies have failed our youth – especially those who are poor and marginalised. But the potential and crucial need for this generation to make a positive and sustainable contribution to all of our futures is very clear. We have never been so well connected. With access to effective health services, good education and empowered to lead, this generation can provide the solutions to significant global challenges”.