Tuesday, 15 July 2014
Jessica Peters, Vale of Glamorgan
Sunday, 13 July 2014
Following my experience representing the UK at the WCY2014 I have had some time to reflect on what I believe UK youth should adopt and focus on these areas.
The direction of youth involment in Post-15 is still vague and non-formal. We need to ensure we chose wisely the areas for us to focus on. In this day and age children and young people still have to live in communities enthralled in violence, sectarianism and hatred. Education programmes are a pivotal way of ensuring these deeply rooted divides can be faded and eventually erased making way for a future of peace and security.
Below are the recommendations I have made for the BYC to adopt to ensure the key messages of Colombo 2014 resonate throughout to UK youth.
1) The BYC recognises the Colombo Declaration on Youth as a pivotal movement for young people to be recognised within the Post-15 development agenda.
2) As a UK representative to the Colombo Conference on Youth I suggest the BYC formally recognise the engagment of human rights and human security in conflicted and post conflict societies. The Colombo declaration suggests an increase of intercultural exchanges based on human/children's rights are mandatory in gaining a full understanding of the rights available to us and therefore enable young people to challenge violence and conflict accordingly.
3) I suggest the BYC engage with either the UK young ambassadors / national youth councils in order to form a structure to allow youth representation at UN level. This could be done according to the UN framework already in place for such national programmes. This would mean that UK youth would have a stronger voice on their position within the post-15 agenda and offer reliable feedback on the position of the Colombo Declaration at such an important time regarding global development.
Comments, debates and advice are encouraged in the comoments section below.
Monday, 12 May 2014
Other delegates also took this approach including New Zealand, Bolivia, Panama, Argentina and Rwanda. Despite not being able to contribute to to initial negotiations the chair got tired of the same old arguments coming from ministers and we were allowed to take the floor.
Although at first sitting and listening seemed mundane it felt for the first time we were part of change and our presence alone meant we were part of policy making and at least experiencing how these declarations are put together.
Many of the more conservative states were sceptical about the wording of recommendations of equality, and furthermore it was interesting to see rivalries between states become apparent. More-so between ministers than the young people.
The subsequent Colombo Declaration, which was the result of these negotiations will be presented to the UN General Assembly this September, hopefully championed by those ministers in attendance. If any of these recommendations are adopted it means that the work of young people from all over the world will be streamlined into the Post-15 development agenda and hopefully make life for children and young people a lot more simple, safer and fulfilling. Despite a chance of this not happening, we are able to take the work we have done back to our own countries and work with our own governments to help enforce elements of this declaration in our own states.
If you would like to learn more about the negotiation process as well as the Colombo Declaration please comment below or tweet me directly at @JKSimonds.
Sunday, 11 May 2014
On the second day we focused on ideas surrounding what young people could do to aid the reconciliation processes and shared experiences and best practise. Again we had several keynote speakers such as Anna Matilda Flemig from the UNOY, Minister of Nepal for youth and sports development and Asanga Abeygunasekera, Executive Director of the Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute.
On the third day we were presented with the challenge of prioritising three goals to be included in the Colombo declaration in order to streamline youth in the Post-15 development agenda.
The outcome of our work is the sub-heading of Realising Peace, Reconciliation and Violence in the 2014 Colombo Declaration which suggests the UN should enforce that states:-
of the youth and development.
A full copy of the Colombo declaration can be found here - http://www.news.lk/wyc-2014/item/703-colombo-declaration-on-youth
Monday, 5 May 2014
A month or so ago I was selected by the British Youth Council, Department for International Development, and the Foreign and Commonwealth office to represent the UK as a National Delegate at the World Conference on Youth 2014 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
My role is to represent the views of young people in the UK and ensure their best interests are streamlined into the output document.
The main themes of the conference are that of the Millennium Development Goals and I am personally going to focus on youth development, realising peace, reconciliation and violence and youth rights. The position of the UK is that we want to learn from others methods of best practice as well as engage with LEDC's specifically in the global south in order to start projects.
In the run up to the conference we have ran consultation with young people, NGOs and experts in their field. This has assured our judgement in line with the DFID, BYC and FCO.
I have also been communicating with delegates through social media and look forward to making comparisons with New Zealand in regards to our consultation.
If you have any questions or want to get engaged with the conference please tweet @JKSimonds with the hashtag #WCY2014