World Urban Youth Assembly 2 September 2012
WORLD URBAN YOUTH ASSEMBLY
Concept Note attached (this is still in draft form)
Date and Time: 2 September 2012. 8:00 am to 18:30
Proposed Theme: “The Role of the Youth in the Urban Future”
Background Introduction/ Global Context:
Urbanization is the engine that propels the world towards prosperity in the 21st century and youth are the engineers. Youth are society’s most essential and dynamic human resource. There are more people under the age of 25 today than ever, totalling nearly three billion or almost half of the total global population; 1.3 billion of that total are between the age of 12 and 24. These youth live, by and large, in cities and towns; the cities of the developing world account for over 90% of the world’s urban growth and youth account for a large percentage of those inhabitants. It is estimated that as many as 60% of all urban dwellers will be under the age of 18 by 2030.
The 4th World Urban Youth Assembly seeks to support this urban youth demographic, helping them be better placed to contribute to, and benefit from, an ever-changing and rapidly urbanizing world. The Youth Assembly will be held in Naples, Italy on September 2nd, 2012, the first day of the Sixth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF6), and will focus on the theme of prosperous cities. The holding of the Youth Assembly early in the programme of the WUF provides youth with the opportunity to deliberate on issues of particular significance to them and affords them the opportunity to eventually make meaningful contributions at the substantive sessions of the Forum.
Objectives of the Assembly
The World Urban Youth Assembly seeks to achieve the following:
I. Exchange ideas and experiences to reach a better understanding of the issues faced by youth globally as related to the WUF theme of prosperous cities.
II. Presentation of innovative approaches in youth-led development based upon best practices of the Urban Youth Fund and One Stop Youth Resource Centres
III. Identification of potential areas where youth can contribute to a sustainable urban future, utilizing the dialogue themes of productive cities, quality of life, urban planning, equity, culture, urban mobility and energy.
IV. Build on the outcome of key UN-Habitat and UN initiatives such as Youth 21, the appointment of the Special Advisor on Youth, the Rio +20 High Level Meeting on Youth, and the proposed Permanent Forum on Youth.
It is expected that the Assembly will host approximately 400 youth from around the world, most of whom will be drawn from UN-Habitat’s Urban Youth Fund projects and One Stop Youth Resource Centres. UN-Habitat is searching out travel and accommodation of about 75 of these youth from developing countries, while the rest will be supported by governments as part of their delegations, by youth serving organizations, private sector, local authorities, etc. A number of youth from the host country are also expected to participate
Previous achievements of the Youth Assembly
I. At WUF II in Barcelona, Spain the first youth assembly was held. Launched at this event was the Global Partnership Initiative on Youth that brought together Mayors from across Africa. This Initiative became the basis and inspiration for the One Stop Youth Resource program.
II. At WUF III in Vancouver, Canada, the youth assembly requested the establishment of a special fund to support youth-led initiatives in pursuance of the Habitat Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals. Consequently, at the 21st Session of the Governing Council in 2007, Governments passed Resolution 21/6 that established the Opportunities Fund for Urban Youth-Led Development, now called the Urban Youth Fund. The Fund, launched at the Assembly at WUF IV in partnership with the Government of Norway, provides grants to youth led organizations which in the developing world.
III. At WUF IV in Nanjing, China, youth strongly emphasized the need to be recognized for their work and expertise in local and international development, and to be included in policy development. Subsequently, Resolution 22/4, encouraged governments to give priority and support to youth-led development initiatives and invited multilateral agencies, governments, the private sector and civil society to listen to youth and support development of policies based on participatory processes.
IV. At WUF V in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil UN-HABITAT launched the first ever report on urban youth, entitled: State of Urban Youth 2010–2011: Leveling the Playing Field. The report highlighted how true equality of opportunities requires active intervention to ensure that circumstances beyond young people’s control don’t adversely affect their life chances. The newly formed Urban Youth Research Network released the World Urban Forum Dialogue Series of reports, a compendium of 5 reports of urban children and youth compiled by leading research agencies.
Expected Outputs of Youth Assembly
• The launch of UN-Habitat’s State of the Urban Youth Report 2012-2013 focused on youth and prosperous cities, and the Urban Youth Fund State of the Field report
• The building of capacity of youth attendees through peer-to-peer learning based upon the experiences and knowledge gained through UN-Habitat’s programmes such as the Youth Fund and One Stop Centres.
• The contribution of the youth substantively to the World Urban Forum, through attendance in the WUF networking sessions and participation in Youth Roundtable
• The release of the World Urban Youth Assembly final statement
Structure of the Assembly
• The Assembly will comprise a high level opening ceremony to be addressed by Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations (TBC), UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos, Ministry officials from Norway and Italy.
• A series of training workshops and dialogues sessions will be held focusing on the role of youth in prosperous cities. A focus as well on youth engagement in governance will be held, focusing on the Youth 21 process led by UN-Habitat to establish a Permanent Forum on Youth.
• A youth declaration will be prepared and presented at the closing ceremony of the World Urban Forum.