International Youth Day 2018: Safe spaces for youth to share their ideas
- Representing nearly 60% of the total population, young people constitute one of the greatest assets for stability and development in the Euro-Mediterranean region
- The UfM will co-organize the Youth Forum, on the margins of the 4th Edition of the UfM high-level Women Conference” in October 2018
12 August 2018. The UfM embraces the celebration of International Youth Day under the theme “Safe Spaces for Youth” to underline the urgent need to create spaces that allow them to share ideas on their projects, and participate in decision making processes. Back to back with the 4th Edition of the UfM high-level Women Conference in October in Lisbon, the UfM is organizing, in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Foundation, a Euro-Mediterranean Youth Forum in which representatives from youth organizations will discuss and develop innovative solutions and recommendations for women’s empowerment.
Representing nearly 60% of the total population of the Euro-Mediterranean region, youth is at the heart of the UfM regional strategy. Under the leadership of the co-presidency and the commitment of its 43 Member States to a regional agenda for integration, job opportunities, dialogue and youth, the UfM always involves youth in regional diagonal. Concrete and tangible results have been achieved by the UfM and its partners in the region:
- Regional Policy Platforms: structured regional dialogues on topics such as employment, women’s empowerment, education, youth employability and mobility regularly involve an important network for cooperation in the Mediterranean including international organizations, parliamentarians, civil society organizations, international financial institutions, development agencies, private sector representatives, universities and think tanks. These platforms follow up on decisions taken at the Ministerial level, thereby ensuring implementation of concrete initiatives and projects on the ground such as the Mediterranean Initiative for Jobs (Med4Jobs).
- Regional Cooperation Projects: the main objectives of 15 of the over 50 UfM-labelled projects are empowering young people and enhancing their capabilities, skills and economic inclusion. The activities range from promoting entrepreneurship and access to finance to vocational training, employability, mobility and social engagement.The UfM launched this year the 1st Youth Forum for the Mediterranean, that took place in Tarragona from 7 to 9 July in the framework of the XVIII Mediterranean Games. It brought together 45 Mediterranean young leaders from 20 countries. The Forum provided the participants with a comprehensive knowledge on how to develop a regional cooperation project from its concept to its implementation. Each session encouraged collective thinking and exchange of methods and good practices on regional partnerships and project development, by bridging youth-led organizations and platforms with regional cooperation actors, such as the UfM and some of its key partners.
- Support to structured and action-oriented youth networks and initiatives: The UfM Secretariat supports the Mediterranean Youth Climate Network (MYCN) since its inception in 2016. The MYCN is a network of youth associations of the Mediterranean region deeply concerned about the effects of climate change in the Mediterranean region and strongly involved and engaged to take action and make it a priority while contributing to international and regional climate fora. At COP23 in Bonn, the UfMS and MYCN organized a side-event on the engagement of youth in climate action in the Mediterranean region where several youth-led projects and initiatives were presented and highlighted the essential role that young generations can play to take priority actions.
As an action-driven organization which has youth as cornerstone of its regional agenda we want to use days like today to remind that although much progress has been done in empowering the young generations and making their voice heard in order to have an impact on direct policies, there is still much work needed.