On 6th June, the second day of the European Development Days 2018 (#EDD2018), ACP YPN partnered with Cooperatives Europe for their Brainstorming session on ‘Youth as key actors of change.’ The Session convened to discuss (1) Why youth matter & why to engage them in social and political decision making? and (2) The role of Youth and Trade. Yentyl Williams, Director, ACP YPN led the Roundtable and assistance was given by Kelly-Ann Fonderson, Expert, ACP YPN.
The first ten minutes were dedicated to discussing the challenges, opportunities and actions to take on the first issue – (1) engaging youth in social and political decision-making. While numerous challenges were outlined, the two key opportunities that were highlighted: (i) The opportunity to create spaces e.g. trainings and (ii) the opportunity to foster structural transformation with youth playing a key role.
The second part of the discussion focused on (2) the role of youth and trade and the team discussed the issue over half an hour by focusing on 5 key points from which 5 main take-away points were drawn:
(i) Various indicators of societal well-being should be used in a complimentary way to have a holistic overview of society.
For example, combining GDP with Taiwan’s definition of GNP as Green, Nature and People, as well as Bhutan’s Happiness Index.
(ii) Creating new inclusive spaces for young people to play an active role in decision-making is more relevant than creating new spaces.
For example, the emphasis should be places on inter-generational dialogue and this would avoid operating in silos – which is an inherent risk when new institutions are created, as opposed to new spaces in existing institutions – and foster more synergies in the process of youth mainstreaming.
(iii) No consensus was reached on Youth-friendly laws in our group.
There was justified concern that youth-friendly laws in relation to trade could merely replicate structural imbalances with youth who have the most economic power benefiting from such laws.
(iv) Knowledge exchange should be prioritised over knowledge transfer to foster inclusive and holistic policy and decision making on the premise that ‘shared knowledge is shared powered’, in line with SDG16.7 on fostering inclusive and responsive decision-making.
(v) Development aid should end and we should work on phasing it out and moving towards new inclusive models of exchange.
The results of all four tables – facilitated by Sergi Corbalan, Fairtrade Advocacy Europe, Anis Saada, Indonesian Youth Cooperatives, Khouloud Mannai, Trade Union Tunisia – shall be compiled in a forthcoming report. You can have a look at all the photos of the Brainstorming session here. #EDD2018 #SheEDDs #SheisWe #ACPYouthTalk
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