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Report from the IYPF and YES WSSD Side Event Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by IYPF, Australia Oct 30, 2002
Poverty , Environment , Human Rights , Education , Culture , Globalization   Opinions
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Report on the work of the IYPF and YES at the
World Summit on Sustainable Development
August 26 – September 4, 2002


The International Young Professionals Foundation (IYPF) and the Youth Employment Summit (YES) worked in partnership prior to and while in Johannesburg for the WSSD and convened two panel discussions one on the theme of “Sustainable Development and Youth Employment” at the NASREC Auditorium on the 29th August 2002 and the other on “Sustainable Livelihoods and Social Entrepreneurship” at the USAID Auditorium on the 2nd September 2002.

Outputs of the discussions:

The first panel discussion included short presentations from the World Bank Vice President H.E. Karlsson, introductions about IYFP by James Moody and about the YES by Bremley Lyngdoh. The floor was opened to questions after the panelist made their contributions on the theme that was then followed by a very lively discussion. About 100 participants came to the meeting and many of them contributed concreted recommendations on how youth employment was critical and linked towards achieving sustainable development. Experiences from on going field projects and programs in different countries were shared by the participants and issues of access to resources and funding of youth employment related initiatives were raised to the World Bank representative.

The panelist highlighted the importance of creating micro credit for youth sustainable livelihoods projects especially in the developing countries. Some of the participants make a call for the setting up of a “Global Youth Sustainable Development Fund” where developed nations, foundations and business could contribute for specific time bound action oriented grassroots projects that would made a huge impact in the lives of the unemployed youth. Other participants raised of UN inter agency cooperation at the country level where by UNDP, UNESCO, FAO and UNICEF could pool in their resources and work together with youth and youth serving organizations to help achieve sustainable livelihoods goals.

The 8 UN Millennium Declaration Goals where introduced by the panelist and the youth participants discussed on the goals where they could play an active role for implementation in partnership with their respective governments and all concerned stakeholders. The issue of creating Type II Partnership projects on youth employment for sustainable development was introduced to the discussions by members of the panel and the participants were encouraged to engage their organization in creating such meaningful collaborations. After a three hour long fruitful discussion the meeting ended with concrete recommendations that were then taken to the Youth Employment Summit in Alexandria. Later all the participants had lunch and had informal discussions.
The second panel discussion included short presentations from Calestous Juma, Harvard University, Mr. Henry Habicht, the CEO of Global Environment Technology Foundation, Prof.Pierri, COBASE. Introductions about IYFP were presented by Swati Raut and about the YES by Mr. Bremley Lyngdoh. About 25 participants came to the meeting and all most everyone had a chance to contribute to the discussion being a smaller group. The panelist presented the work of their respective organizations and networks and introduced the importance of Social Entrepreneurship in creating Sustainable Livelihoods for young people globally. The question of capacity building and training for youth to gain new skills was raised by the young participants from developing countries.

The panel responded by highlighting the importance of reorienting the educational system in our respective countries in order to produce graduates that will create their own new jobs as social or an environmental entrepreneur rather that look for jobs. The issue for developing countries being dependent on international development aid was questioned as being an unsustainable model of development. The participants agreed that human capital and knowledge creation at the national, local and grassroots level is the best way to bridge this huge disparity gap between the rich and the poor.

The members of the panel recommended the creation of centers of excellence or sustainable development training centers which can be created and implemented by the youth themselves to enable them to have informal or vocational training in sustainable development issues and how to create employment generation opportunities in their communities through working on social, environmental and economic projects and programs. The participants felt that development agencies should work directly with the youth and youth serving organizations at the national and level and engage in true partnership with the youth by helping to fund their sustainable livelihoods projects. The meeting came to an end with a common agreement that youth are the major stakeholders that represent 50% of the planet’s populations and investing in them is critical to the success of sustainable development globally.

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