Towards a Global Standard for Meaningful Youth Engagement in the Pact for the Future

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Economic and Social Council Youth Forum 

“Youth shaping sustainable and innovative solutions: Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda and eradicating poverty in time of crises”


“Towards a Global Standard for Meaningful Youth Engagement in the Pact for the Future”


Organized by the International Association of Youth and Students for Peace & UN Youth Delegates and Youth Representatives of Austria, Czechia, Denmark, the European Union, Ireland, Kenya, Malta, Switzerland, and the United States of America; co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Ireland and the European Union to the UN.


The Side Event took place on 18 April at the European Union Mission to the UN with two primary objectives. First, to define and recommit to standards of meaningful youth engagement such as the ones outlined in the Secretary Generals Policy Brief 3 and secondly, develop actionable recommendations for meaningful youth engagement by outlining barriers, voicing best practices and facilitating action. We wanted to put a spotlight on a timely debate which works to fill the ongoing negotiations on the Pact of the Future with concrete ideas for implementation, and work towards the achievement of SDG 16.7, which aims to ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory, and representative decision-making at all levels. We furthermore sought to foster substantive dialogue by facilitating intergenerational and interactive discussions exploring youth involvement in policy-making processes in line with SDG 17.

The event commenced with keynotes provided through a “Global Call for Video Statements” and Marija Vasileva-Blazev (Special Adviser UN Youth Office). These highlighted not focusing on the ‘why’ of youth involvement, given its undeniable importance, but the ‘how’ and showcased initiatives such as the Youth 2030 Agenda, the Let #YouthLead campaign and how the UN Youth Office is working to shape the outcomes of the Pact of the Future. Following these first deliberations, three distinguished experts were welcomed to the panel: Lopa Banerjee (Director of the Civil Society Division at UN-Women), Nudhara Yusuf (Co-Chair of the UN Civil Society Conference in Support of SOTF) and Shreyaa Venkat (Founder and CEO of NEST4US)

An event on meaningful youth participation must hold up to its own calls to the best of its ability. All participants had the opportunity to engage the panelists in a collective discussion around key questions. Through this active fishbowl method, speakers from various backgrounds and regions shared their insights on the importance of establishing global standards for meaningful youth engagement.


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