ACP YPN on youth & SDGs in Yo!Mag

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“Sustainable Development Goals and youth: Where will you be in 15 years time?” is the title of Yentyl Williams, Founder & President of ACP YPN’s recent article published in the Magazine of the European Youth Forum, Yo!Mag. The article highlights the importance of including youth in the process of implementing and ultimately achieving the very important Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda and makes three key recommendations. Read the full article here.

Yentyl explains that although ‘youth’ are only mentioned 5 times within the 169 targets of the 17 SDGs – in SDG4, SDG8 and SDG13 on education, employment and climate change respectively – ‘youth’ issues are not stand alone issues, rather they are ‘cross-cutting’ and multi-sectoral’. The three recommendations are:

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

The article also reminds that the time for empowerment and transformative action really is now or never: it is a  fact that youth make up half of the world’s population today, and we are witnessing new forms of under-development, including unpaid internships, low quality jobs for over-skilled youth, lack of decent jobs, amongst others. Yentyl concludes by stating that the next 15 years will attest to the collective will to achieve the future that the SDGs promise and suggests, let’s co-create our future together!

Check out more of ACP YPN’s advocacy on youth and SDGs:

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ACP YPN featured in Brussels Diplomatic

ACP YPN’s hallmark diplomacy event, the ACP YPN Ambassador Series with H.E Ambassador Kaire Mbuende was featured on the Brussels Diplomatic daily newspaper on EU affairs, diplomacy, international affairs and expats in Brussels. The article entitled, Technology, infrastructure and tourism: Namibia is ready for business, includes an interview with Dr. Mbuende, Ambassador of Namibia to the European Union (EU), the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Duchy of Luxembourg.

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ACP YPN interview with Commonwealth Youth Council

On the 23rd April, Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) interviewed Yentyl Williams, Founder and President of ACP YPN on her experience of founding the international youth organisation.

CYC were particularly keen to know: 1. Why did you decide to start ACP YPN? 2. What are the main objectives? 3. Any successes so far? 4. What are your future plans? 5. Any challenges? 6. Any messages to youth of the Commonwealth?

Yentyl explained the importance of establishing ACP YPN  – to advocate that the EU and ACP countries utilise Article 26 of the legally bingind Cotonou Partnership Agreement on ‘youth issues’ – for which she was awarded Commonwealth Champion.

Access the full interview here.

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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.

 

 

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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.