Jenny Nilsson from WFDYS did participated UNESCO 7th Youth Forum. The forum was held from 17 to 20 October 2011 in UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, the Forum brought together youth delegates, civil society participants, UN entities, intergovernmental organizations, academics and the private sector. Participants discussed, debated, and exchanged ideas on the Forum’s timely themes. WFDYS participated as observer and had opportunity to join the debate in the thematic parallel debates, networking with other youth delegates and see the speeches of Ms Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director‐General, Forest Whitaker UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and Ms. Nicola Shepherd, UN Programme on Youth (UNDESA) etc.
The forum was reporting on action following the 6th UNESCO Youth Forum by youth delegates from Canada, Indonesia, Yemen, Uganda and Ecuador there they pointed the importance of youth actions by young people and using the network from the Forum in the upcoming years. They also discussed the “legacy” of the International Year of Youth and the results of the High Level Meeting on Youth.
The main theme of this Forum was “How youth drive change” and the sub‐themes were; citizens in action: youth in political and public life, countering youth exclusion, vulnerability and violence and breaking through employment barriers. WFDYS participated in a parallel debate on education, social transformation and sustainable development led by the UNESCO education sector there we discussed access to education and we made a comment about the importance of education for youth with disabilities; for example deaf people there only 3% receive education in sign language, then must make efforts so that we get our education in sign language.
The output of the Youth Forum is a Final Report drafted by youth participants containing key recommendations on the themes that will be presented to the representatives of Member States during the 36th UNESCO General Conference. One of the recommendations was about education “We call upon Member States to eliminate all forms of discrimination, especially against the most vulnerable segments of society, and to promote human rights‐based education”. The final report of 7th Youth Forum can be downloaded in UNESCO website.
WFDYS thinks it is an interesting forum and good of opportune to network with youth delegates from whole the world and debating to influence the final report. The forum is important as a platform for us young people, in closing speech by Ms Irina Bokova there she mentioned the importance that youth are involved in decision‐processes and democracy is powerful in that way.
The output of the Youth Forum was a Final Report (in PDF document below) drafted by youth participants containing key recommendations that were presented to the UNESCO General Conference at its 36th Session.