||Aram Barra [ profile ]
UNFPA: “Investing in Youth: Path to Accelerated Development”
Jun 7th, 2011 - 21:40:37
Last May the UNFPA put together a small conference with young people to
treat SRHR and HIV. Agata from Poland partook in the event and has shared
some notes and feedback on the meeting. I thought of sharing with you all
because their bullet points at the end also provide with good
recommendations to take into account in the HLM next week and in the
different regional meetings that will be soon taking place around the world
on the Commission of Law and HIV.
I hope you enjoy. If you have any questions or comments, please contact
Agata directly at: agata.kwiatkowska (at) gmail.com
Director de Programa de Política de Drogas
Drug Policy Programme Director
aram.barra (at) espolea.org | Twitter: (at) arambarra |
Espolea | Juventud que deja huella
www.espolea.org | Twitter: (at) Espolea |
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Agata Kwiatkowska
Date: Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 8:26 AM
Subject: very late call from UNFPA Conference: Investing in Youth: Path to
Please find some notes from our meeting (by Agata Kwiatkowska and Daniel
It was a good start of the youth conference today with the opening speech of
the Regional Director and the representative from Y-PEER. Once more were
reaffirmed the need for interventions in the youth policies on national
level and the importance for wider youth participation in all processes.
The youth participation on this conference is aiming to show that young
people can be equal partners in discussions and decision making processes.
In addition from the very beginning it was stress out that during the
conference youth SRHR issues will be elaborated through the wider
perspective of development and population aspects. It was really an
eye-opening perspective for all participants. Using this perspective we can
see how other development issues, like poverty, employment opportunities,
migration can influence young peoples lives in all areas including SRHR.
The discussions during the whole day brought up the major recommendations
that will be presented on the high level meeting. Those discussion and
recommendations once more showed that there are still gaps on national level
and many areas have to be improved regarding young people. I hope that this
recommendation will be well accepted by the governmental officials during
the high level meeting. More over I hope that after this conference UN
agencies and other organizations and experts present on the conference will
push more hared those to be implemented in reality.
And the summary I would like to finish with one strong statement from the
UNFPA Regional Director: Sexuality education is for all, sexuality
education is for life .
The second day, we all already know each other and already are a little
accustomed to the rapid pace of work. On Monday, we focused on the
influential role of youth on SRH and on the health - and now it's time for
education. However, before the session which I had the opportunity to lead
"Ignorance Out, Sexual and Reproductive Health Education - In!" began - Thea
Fierens gave her speech: "Sometimes the minister of health has to be
irritated dont hesitate to say it - in today's world we have HIV, AIDS,
SEX WORKERS, HUMAN TRAFFIC and we need decent sex education and we need to
talk about it loudly. Even if sometimes we have to bear the risk."
Work, despite very relaxed atmosphere was heavy. Sometimes its hard to find
a common denominator for all the countries of our region. We have different
experiences and different is the activity of young people in the region -
all of it came while working in groups. The problem also lies in the fact
that our projects of each person are believed to be the best solution in
Today, while working with one of the groups, I tried to explain that sex
education in the 21st century requires a new opening, that the problem is
not just a lack of hours in school, but especially the closure of certain
environments (government, local government but also NGOs created by parents,
educators, psychologists) for innovative, creative ideas of young people -
which could be a completely new aspect of sex education - a lot more
effective and tailored to the needs of young, one that would reach them.
Using Facebook and Twitter to the social media campaign from the young to
I think it is a little bit so, that if you do not have a chance to ask about
certain things when you're young and still brave then you will never ask,
because you'll be ashamed - I do not know how it is in other countries in
the region, but the sexual life of adult Poles is "top secret subject" - and
if they had good sex education could be completely different ...
We alsow had great honor to meet *UNFPA Executive Director* / private
breakfast /. Some notes from this meeting:
*Meeting between Young People and UNFPA Executive Director*
*Young people shared;*
- Young people are generally more visible in international level than
national level. Youth participation must be strengthened in national level
as well and taking into consideration that UNFPA is a leading UN agency that
is promoting youth participation CO should be an example of such practice in
- UNFPA Regional Offices should demonstrate a good example at youth
participation for country offices and influence them to involve young people
on a national level. When regional offices do not involve young people
efficiently and meaningfully, those cases create misunderstanding at the
national level and therefore affect possible partnership opportunities with
- Meaningful youth participation only occurs when young people are
properly informed regarding the topic, their level of involvement, and the
overall processes of implementation. During this process, when to involve
young people should also be taken into account. The facts of involving young
people for the sake of youth involvement or as a ornament of the event
should not take place.
- There is a misperception of involving most at risk young people into
events. Prior to the meaningful youth participation, the empowerment of
young people should be ensured. If young people from key populations are not
involved in decision-making processes on national level and are not enriched
with the needed skills and knowledge, less likely they can be involved in
international level. Therefore in future this should be taken into
consideration. In addition, when there is short time to an event, the ones
who would answer an email are those who have daily access to internet . Also
different events require different expertise from participants, therefore
different level of participation. Different mechanisms to involve young
people should be in place. The key youth populations can be reached and
mobilized through their peer leaders. The youth mobilization for the Youth
Conference in Istanbul is a good example of youth mobilization at initial
stage: young people, who have access to Internet and resources helped to
deliver the messages of those, who do not have same opportunity by recording
the videos and other means. Ideally, we expect that most of the
representatives of key populations have enough support and resources to
express their visions.
- Y-PEER had mobilized youth from different groups and networks as well
as individuals in the region (European Youth Forum, YSAFE, Youth Rise, ASTRA
Youth, IFMSA, YouAct) and worked to represent the messages of majority of
youth in the region during the Conference in a very short time.
- Young people also shared their experiences on how it is difficult to be
involved in the national level, such as UNGASS national delegation.
*Executive Director shared; *
- When young people are involved in events and/or decision making
processes, they need to have time to deliberate and method of processes that
should allow young people to participate meaningfully.
- As UNFPA, we will continue to work with young people and we will
reflect the view of young people in broad sense.
- We will focus on including specific groups and also finding solutions
on how to include those groups more meaningfully.
- We will work on supporting capacity building at the national level,
creating/strengthening youth forums and organizations at country level. This
includes supporting young people to be involved in national delegations for
high level meetings such as UNGASS, as mentioned before.
- We should build stake holders around SRH in the national, regional
and international level.
- We will also share UNFPA Mid Term Review with young people and expect
their input as soon as possible.
- I personally expect young people to consider events in horizon and
- MDG + 15
- Rio + 20
- UN HLM Youth
- List serve to establish your priorities
*UNFPA Turkey Representative shared;*
- There is lack of clarity on young peoples involvement in decision
making processes. Usually what we see is the/a tokenistic approach.
- Young people should be involved meaningfully.
- Mali Call to Action and GYAP Recommendations were also discussed in the
meeting and we believe both documents include valuable points that
definitely should taken into account in international, regional and national
level. We do not want to repeat same recommendations once more but would
like to underline a few of them and recommend some new actions;
- Some concrete recommendations for the region could be:
- Sharing the positive experience of establishing Youth Advisory Panel
on national level (Uzbekistan and Turkey) and recommending to other
countries to implement YAPs.
- Youth organizations from the region to be involved in the processes
of adoption of National Youth Laws (if they are not existing yet)
- Supporting youth-led and youth serving organizations to engage and
involve young people from the region in EU level consultation processes.
- We acknowledge that MDG+15, ICPD+20, Rio+20 have their own specific
priorities and young people should part of entire process. Youth groups
should be supported to be able to deliver their calls to actions towards
events above and express their concerns in a free way but should not be
layered and become external part of these events.
- build and strengthen the capacity of youth leaders and youth
mentorship, global, regional and local partnerships, information sharing and
- After our meeting, we also have started possibilities of forming a
Youth Alliance on a common goal/issue for the region such as comprehensive
sexuality education. This idea is still on progress but ideally we would
like to continue our partnership with other youth organizations in the
region and jointly prepare for upcoming major international events like
MDG+15, ICPD+20, Rio+20.
Let me know if you have any questions or you need some more information!
Social AIDS Committee (SKA)
Chmielna St. 26/19
* tel. 0048 602 246 324
agata.kwiatkowska (at) skaids.org