ACP YPN at EYE2016 – The Inclusion Champion & Diversity Ambassador

On 20-21 May, ACP YPN was represented for the first time at the European Youth Event at the European Parliament, Strasbourg. The delegation of 13 members of ACP YPN with 15 different EU-ACP nationalities took part in the two-day event of workshops and high-level panels on six different themes: 1) War and peace; 2) Exclusion or access; 3) Apathy of participation; 4) Collapse or success; 5) Stagnation or innovation; 6) Health and Well-being. The highlights were Yentyl Williams, Founder and President of ACP YPN being featured by the European Commission as The Inclusion Champion and being invited to be Diversity Ambassador by the Vice-President of the European Parliament (MEP) Mairead McGuiness.

EYE was particularly interested to know which problems youth wished to see solved. Yentyl took the floor at the plenary session to share ACP YPN response: Problem – There are no EU Ambassadors for inclusion and diversity. The Canadian PM Justin Trudeau recently said that diversity is not just social policy, diversity is the engine that drives innovation and growth. Where are the EU public figures that promote inclusiveness of young people, irrespective of race, ethnicity, origin, religion and economic status, both at the level of the MS and EU-wide?

EYE organisers asked what should the European Parliament do to tackle it. ACP YPN responded that the European Parliament should appoint Ambassadors for Inclusion and promote implementation of commitments on ‘youth issues’ at high-level EU debates about inclusion. It should hold the EU MS accountable for their commitments on youth issues in international agreements, in particular the EU-ACP Cotonou Partnership Agreement Article 26 on ‘youth issues’. The European Parliament should also lead on ‘youth mainstreaming’, as part of Agenda 2030.

EYE team were also keen to know why  this issue particularly important for ACP YPN and other citizens. ACP YPN believe that the issue of inclusion is extremely important because origins should not define opportunities. The experience of our members as European and non-European (with multiple nationalities and cultures) makes ACP YPN members in particular, more aware of the problems of inclusion in the EU. Policies need to be implemented proactively to foster greater inclusion. Tackling inclusion tackles inter-related issues (employment, mobility, active citizenship and participation) and leads to better choice, opportunities and change.

Check out the ACP YPN EYE Delegation of ACP YPN Ambassadors 2016:

  • Barry Owino, ACP YPN Exponential Technology Expert and Entrepreneur
  • Diana Cocoru, ACP YPN Digital Policy and Right of Nature Expert
  • Dana Schumans, ACP YPN Digital Inclusion Expert
  • Yentyl Williams, ACP YPN Trade and Sustainable Development Expert

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