As 43% of the world’s population is under 25, young people should be involved as key stakeholders in the policy decisions that will shape the future. The upcoming Global Youth Forum, to be held in Bali on 4-6 December 2012, aims to help translate into reality the priorities reflected in General Assembly resolution 65/234, especially its focus on the effective and inclusive participation of all relevant stakeholders in the mainstream development debate. The Forum represents the peak of efforts by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the Indonesian government, other UN agencies and youth leaders to turn the participatory aspirations of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) into a sustainable youth advocacy network.
The applications process for participation in the Global Youth Forum is now open. The Forum will take place at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center in Bali, Indonesia. In order to qualify, applicants must be between 18 and 30 years of age; be emerging leaders currently working at national levels in an area that contributes to ICPD Programme of Action; be able to demonstrate outstanding youth advocacy and networking capabilities with concrete examples of achievements in these areas across a wide variety of environments; be working in a paid or voluntary capacity for a civil society organization engaged in policy development at national and local levels or for organizations that have a demonstrable national and/or international reach and mandate. All participants must have a valid passport with a minimum of one year until expiry. When considering candidates for the Global Youth Forum the following key skills and values will also be taken into account:
• a commitment to the values of the ICPD;
• leadership experience;
• innovation in the arena of policy development and application;
• desire to contribute to and improve the leadership potential of the civil society sector;
• willingness to learn;
• eagerness to lead debate and discussions during the Global Youth Forum;
• commitment to follow-up activities.
Places at the Global Youth Forum are limited. Selected candidates will receive funding to attend the Forum. Those who cannot make it to the Forum in Bali also have the option of fully participating in the discussions as a virtual delegate. Applications for virtual delegates will open on 16 September. Virtual delegates may be between 14 and 30 years of age, and will be able to contribute to Forum discussions live, through an online feed. A series of events on Global Youth Forum topics will also be organized locally by UNFPA country offices and youth agencies across the globe.
The themes of the Global Youth Forum are:
• Staying healthy
• Comprehensive education
• Transitions to decent employment for youth
• Sexuality, families and rights
• Fully inclusive civic participation
During the Forum, five experts – one representing each theme – will be selected to prepare reports on their respective topics and will present their findings at the conference itself, setting the stage for a more proactive dialogue among Forum attendees and stakeholders worldwide. In light of the Forum’s emphasis on youth issues, young people will be instrumental in developing and reviewing these reports and facilitating and framing the related discussions. In recognition of the receptiveness of youth to social media, the Forum will employ social networks for communications and for creating long-lasting connections among youth around the world.
Applications to attend the Global Youth Forum in Bali are now open:
This article is available in Spanish.