On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the UN pays homage to the victims of hunger and social exclusion to encourage multilateral partnerships that are based on solid, compassionate responses to their struggles. Poverty has numerous repercussions: hunger and food insecurity, increased crime and child mortality rates, political instability, corruption and dysfunctional governance. We are seeing now that poverty is a prime driver of violent extremism, breeding and intensifying conflicts worldwide.
The Young Person’s Guide: Changing the World Edition combines inputs from youth leaders and young people worldwide with expertise coming from 13 partner organizations in the private sector, civil society and international financial institutions.
The festival brings together more than 20,000 young people from 150 countries. Partnering with the World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) for the very first time, United Nations Volunteers is supporting the Volunteer Corps of the festival, that includes almost 7,000 volunteers.
This conference, the second of its series, highlighted the power of youth volunteering to address violent extremism and promote social inclusion. The conference offered a platform for youth volunteers to connect with and influence the broader global agenda on peace and development and foster greater international collaboration among youth volunteers.
The main theme of this year’s Forum is “University Consortium and Volunteers”. The Forum will provide an opportunity for the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to strengthen its long-standing partnership with Japanese universities for the mobilization of young Japanese professionals fielded as University UN Youth Volunteers. Currently, nine universities are part of United Nations University Volunteers Program led by the Kwansei Gakuin University and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan.
More than 130 young people, representatives of youth-led organizations and youth activists took part in the event. The Forum-Café drew attention to youth contributions to peace and development globally, and strengthened cooperation between youth and the representatives of the Government, educational institutions, civil society, and international organizations.
During the forum, the participants discussed the role of youth in promoting energy-efficient lifestyles, advocating for sustainable development and securing equal access to resources for peace and stability.
On 19 August 2017, national UN Volunteer Ahmed Osman, serving as Protection Assistant with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sudan, led an interactive discussion with youth on the importance of volunteerism to achieve peace and contribute to development across all communities. Ahmed highlighted how “the SDGs cannot be achieved without people’s engagement at all stages.” He also underlined that volunteers can facilitate and support participatory approaches in planning, implementing and monitoring the SDGs.
Ludovic Brandhot is a national UN Volunteer serving with the local government in Mbrès, Central African Republic. For more than four years, instability persists in the country. Approximately 60% of the territory remains occupied by armed groups. In the prefecture of Nana-Grébizi, in the heart of the country, clashes between rebel groups in 2016 and March 2017 completely paralyzed the activities in the city. The civilian population was trapped. Today, te humanitarian situation continues to be unbearable.
Three national UN Volunteers are working to empower adolescent girls by raising awareness amongst adolescents, their families and local authorities on women’s rights, and addressing issues such as early marriage, sexuality and violence against women. Their work contributes to the Saqilaj B’e Joint Programme (JP) implemented by UN Women, PAHO/WHO, UNESCO, UNFPA and UNICEF, together with the Government of Guatemala.