ACP YPN at Cariform-EU Consultative Committee, EESC

On 18th and 19th April, ACP YPN took part in the Cariforum-EU Consultative Committee (CF-EU CC), as observer, at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Brussels. Yentyl Williams, Founder and President of ACP YPN represented the Network at the CF-EU CC.

 

The meeting was co-chaired by Brenda King MBE on the EU-side and Renwick Rose on the CF-side. The CF-EU CC meeting programme included (1) the CF-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), including (a) an update on implementation, (b) follow-up of the 5year review and (c) Monitoring and Evaluation; (2) Financing EPA implementation: the 11th European Development Fund (EDF); (3) Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and their relevance to the EPA; and (4) the Post-Cotonou Framework and it’s impact on the EPA. The CF-EU CC was also invited to take part in a seminar at the European Parliament on ‘How to Implement the Monitoring of the Economic Partnership Agreements’.

 

 

ACP YPN  had the opportunity to meet the CF-EU CC participants, including other young professionals, Sade Deane, Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) (Barbados) and Alex Mitchell, Caribbean Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) (St.Lucia). Yentyl Williams took the floor on the subject of ‘Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and their relevance to the EPA’ to underscore the importance of youth inclusion. Yentyl highlighted the fact that youth are only mentioned 5 times in the 169 SDG targets and underscored the importance of youth mainstreaming, as youth is not a stand-alone issue but cross-cutting and multi-sectoral.

 

 

Want to know more? Take a look into:

Any more questions? Write to us: acpypn@gmail.com or @acpYPN

Keep up-to-date with ACP YPN via the Website | Facebook | Twitter | Flickr | Youtube

 

ACP YPN at European Youth Forum #COMEM #20years4youth

On 14th-16th April, ACP YPN were invited as guests to take part in the European Youth Forum’s (EYF) Council of Members (#COMEM). ACP YPN was represented by Yentyl Williams, ACP YPN Founder and President and Zama Nkosi, ACP YPN Private Sector Expert (SDG 17)

This was a unique occasion to engage in debate and understand the decision making process of the EYF, the platform of over 100 youth organisations (both National Youth Councils and International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations) in Europe. ACP YPN gained insight into the functioning of the governing body and the vision of the organisation that is the voice of young people in Europe, namely to empower, encourage, involve, represent, reach out and support young people.

 

 

On Thursday evening, EYF members, observers and guests were invited to celebrate EYF’s 20th anniversary, #20years4youth , with a high-level exchange with European Commission Vice-President, Jyrki Katainen Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness; Commissioner Tibor Navracsics for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport and Aida Hadzialic Swedish Minister for Education and Reserach. The event was held at the Natural Sciences Museum in Brussels. Being surrounded by dinosaurs was an ironic reminder that in policy-making, just as in life, we need to evolve or we will become extinct.

Zama Nkosi, ACP YPN Private Sector Expert (SDG 17) represented ACP YPN on 16th April and raised the following question on behalf of ACP YPN: Subject: An inclusive European Youth Forum, an inclusive Europe?

 

 

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau recently said that diversity is not just social policy, diversity is the engine that drives innovation and growth. What is the EYF doing to promote inclusiveness of young people, irrespective of race, ethnicity, origin, religion and economic status, both as the level of the EYF and Europe-wide?

The EU has a partnership with the 79 countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states, called the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA). Article 26 (CPA) on ‘youth issues’ is currently under-utilised and youth have become marginalised in largely technical cooperation between EU and ACP. How will EYF support the implementation of this Article 26 CPA so that both European and ACP youth can benefit from what the partnership set out to do before its expiry in 2020?

 

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In response, EYF listed some of the initiatives that they are involved in to ensure more inclusiveness and they also highlighted their work on anti-discrimination policy with the EU, as well as their promotion of youth rights guided by the mantra “no young person left behind”. Indeed, at the COMEM, EYF adopted the resolution on quality standards for youth policy. While EYF were less aware of the Article 26 CPA, they welcomed dialogue and engagement with ACP YPN on this issue. Overall, it was an extremely positive experience and we thoroughly look forward to evolving together so that we do not become dinosaurs and making our societies more inclusive. Watch this space!

Catch up on #COMEM and #20years4youth and @acpYPN tweets

Find out more about EYF  here

And don’t miss the opportunity to join ACP YPN and EYF meet-up to find out more about the European Youth Event, Aloft Hotel, May 3rd from 6pm. Sign up to our mailing list to keep up-to-date here.

 

ACP YPN on Caribbean Regional Integration at SALISES, Barbados

On 29 March – 01 April, ACP YPN had the honour to present a joint paper on Caribbean regional integration at the 17th Annual Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Eeconomic Studies (SALISES) Conference. The paper, “Defining Intra-Caribbean Relations in a Post-Preference Era: To what extent is the Regional Integration Process Driven By Extra-Caribbean Forces?” co-written by Alicia Nicholls, ACP YPN Caribbean Representative and Trade and Development Consultant and Yentyl Williams, ACP YPN Founder & President, and International Trade Consultant was presented by Alicia at the high-level panel on Regional Integration.

Alicia Nicholls presented the paper and the full power point presentation can be found here.

The paper asked the question: ‘Are extra-Caribbean forces defining intra-Caribbean relations?’ It responded to this key question by looking at a triptych of important international trade developments, which have non-negligible implications for the Caribbean:

  1. The Caribbean region’s main trade and investment partners, the United States and the European Union, are negotiating the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
  2. The Caribbean Community (Caricom) and the Dominican Republic (CARIFORUM) were the first of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group to sign a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU in 2008, within the framework of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA). The CPA is due to expire in 2020 and there are already early indications from the EU’s trade and investment strategy, inter alia, that future relations with the Caribbean will take place under the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) framework.
  3. The French Caribbean islands, while Overseas Departments (Départment d’Outre-Mer, DOM), are strengthening their relations with the Caricom, in spite of certain tensions due to the application and existence octroi de mer’ (dock dues) until 2020 and the inter-play with the EPA.

The paper concludes that in the coming years, extra-Caribbean forces will exert more pressure on the Caribbean to unite. It shall be published shortly.

Check out Alicia’s blog post on the presentation of the paper, ‘Global Trade and Socio-economic tides pushing Caribbean countries to the back of the shoal: Integrate or be left behind’ here.

Subscribe to Alicia’s Caribbean Trade Law mailing list to be kept up with the latest Caribbean trade, law and policy developments here.

Also, check out Alicia Nicholls’ biography & Yentyl Williams’ biography.

SALISES

ACP YPN on 'Youth & SDGs' at ACP Roundtable

On 30-31st March, ACP YPN was invited to present on the subject of ‘Youth and SDGs’ at the ACP Roundtable on Inter-regional Cooperation and Agenda 2030. Yentyl Williams, Founder & President of ACP YPN presented the work and recommendations of ACP YPN to ACP Ambassadors, high-level officials and stakeholders. The presentation can be found here.

Yentyl began by asking the audience, “where will you be in 15years time?”. Raising this issue gave the audience the opportunity to reflect on this pertinent question, but also to realise the importance of including youth in the debate on achieving the non-negligible SDGs. In 15 years time, many of the youth of today, leaders in their own right, will be the future leaders discussing post-Agenda 2030 context and setting new priorities.

The presentation began with an overview of ACP YPN, which was created in recognition of the fact that article 26 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement on ‘youth issues’ was not only under-utilised, but that there was a need to create a bridge to re-connect 40years of technical cooperation between the EU and ACP, and the young professionals and diaspora. Additionally, she underlined the mission and five goals that guide ACP YPN’s actions.

‘Youth’ are only mentioned 5times within the 169 targets of the 17 SDGs. In particular, ‘youth’ are mentioned in SDG4, SDG8 and SDG13 on education, employment and climate change respectively. Nevertheless, ACP YPN highlights that ‘youth’ are not stand alone issues, rather they are ‘cross-cutting’ and multi-sectoral’. This recognition has led to the development of ACP YPN’s three key recommendations:

1) Pioneer Youth-mainstreaming;
2) Align SDGs with regional agendas;
3) Create an enabling environment for youth and youth organisations.

ACP YPN is positioning itself to be the organisation that provides advisory support to achieve those three recommendations to –  (i) Pioneer Youth-mainstreaming; (ii) Align SDGs with Regional Agendas; (iii) Create an enabling environment for youth & youth organisations –  working as partners to achieve the future that the SDGs promise. yentyl concluded by recognising that this is not a conclusion, but just the beginnning: “This future is ours, let’s CO-create it!

Keep up-to-date with ACP YPN via the Website | Facebook | Twitter | Flickr | Youtube |Also, see ACP YPN’s response to the EU consultation here.

sdgs-list-en

Other panelists included:

UN Women – have a look at presentation and the great work they are doing here:

Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) – see the amazing life-changing work CARPHA is doing here.

ACP YPN on ‘Youth & SDGs’ at ACP Roundtable

On 30-31st March, ACP YPN was invited to present on the subject of ‘Youth and SDGs’ at the ACP Roundtable on Inter-regional Cooperation and Agenda 2030. Yentyl Williams, Founder & President of ACP YPN presented the work and recommendations of ACP YPN to ACP Ambassadors, high-level officials and stakeholders. The presentation can be found here.

Yentyl began by asking the audience, “where will you be in 15years time?”. Raising this issue gave the audience the opportunity to reflect on this pertinent question, but also to realise the importance of including youth in the debate on achieving the non-negligible SDGs. In 15 years time, many of the youth of today, leaders in their own right, will be the future leaders discussing post-Agenda 2030 context and setting new priorities.

The presentation began with an overview of ACP YPN, which was created in recognition of the fact that article 26 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement on ‘youth issues’ was not only under-utilised, but that there was a need to create a bridge to re-connect 40years of technical cooperation between the EU and ACP, and the young professionals and diaspora. Additionally, she underlined the mission and five goals that guide ACP YPN’s actions.

‘Youth’ are only mentioned 5times within the 169 targets of the 17 SDGs. In particular, ‘youth’ are mentioned in SDG4, SDG8 and SDG13 on education, employment and climate change respectively. Nevertheless, ACP YPN highlights that ‘youth’ are not stand alone issues, rather they are ‘cross-cutting’ and multi-sectoral’. This recognition has led to the development of ACP YPN’s three key recommendations:

1) Pioneer Youth-mainstreaming;
2) Align SDGs with regional agendas;
3) Create an enabling environment for youth and youth organisations.

ACP YPN is positioning itself to be the organisation that provides advisory support to achieve those three recommendations to –  (i) Pioneer Youth-mainstreaming; (ii) Align SDGs with Regional Agendas; (iii) Create an enabling environment for youth & youth organisations –  working as partners to achieve the future that the SDGs promise. yentyl concluded by recognising that this is not a conclusion, but just the beginnning: “This future is ours, let’s CO-create it!

Keep up-to-date with ACP YPN via the Website | Facebook | Twitter | Flickr | Youtube |Also, see ACP YPN’s response to the EU consultation here.

sdgs-list-en

Other panelists included:

UN Women – have a look at presentation and the great work they are doing here:

Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) – see the amazing life-changing work CARPHA is doing here.