"...a society that cuts itself from its youth severs its lifeline, but a society that engages their interests, enlists their talents and liberates their energies brings hope to the entire world” (Kofi Anan). Welcome to Jennifer Ehidiamen's online dairy. "Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation" (Nelson Mandela).
Youth from different corners
of the world came together to discuss, debate, and exchange ideas on how youth
There were presentations,
interactions, report drafting and amendment. One of the end results was for delegates
to come up with a draft report of recommendations. And they did, despite the
long back and forth process of amendment...
They elected delegates from
Switzerland and Finland to represent them during the UNESCO General conference
and present these recommendations to the representatives of Member States
during the 36th UNESCO General Conference coming up next month.
The closing ceremony at the 7th UNESCO Youth forum just took place.
drafting committee presented their recommendations to the Director General.
These recommendations are expected to be integrated into the decision making
process of government leaders during the upcoming General conference.
Youth delegates were assured
that UNESCO is committed to ensuring the voice of youth are heard and taken
seriously by government leaders. But this is not the end, Ms Irina Bokova said.
It is the beginning and the stakes are very high. However, as youth we must keep holding UNESCO accountable on the promise while advocating for government to implement the recommendations in our various countries.
The President of the UNESCO
General conference, Mr Davidson Hepburn, in his closing remark made some very
interesting points. He noted that people speak of youth as if it is a single
group but it isn't. Each of us are different but yet we are going stand
together as one in our believe that we can make the world a better place.
Thus, we must stand together
as one, despite our differences. We must support one another to birth the
changes we want to see in our communities.
The event might have ended
but the process is just starting.
If youth must drive change, we must always
stay engaged, act and continue to speak out and advocate until more
opportunities are created for youth in political and public life, until factors
instigating youth exclusion, vulnerability and violence are curbed; and
policies and programs that will eradicate employment barriers are implemented.
In the words of Golda
El-Khoury, the Chief of the UNESCO section for Youth, Sport and Physical
Education, “Really, what brings us together is commitment.”
Youth can drive change.
Youth will drive change. Youth MUST stay committed to drive change.
generation not fail those coming behind us.