A critical look at the Global Youth Forum

A hard-hitting critique of youth participation at a global level by the youthpolicy team, who look behind the automated praise of the final declaration and the star-struck coverage of the Global Youth Forum and document the hard landing of a high-flying event.

The closing remarks are as follows:

The wider picture: consultation without commitment

Looking at the wider picture, it seems to become clear that the continuous attempts of the United Nations and its various offices and programmes to organise non-committal consultation processes only gives credibility to the growing market of meaningless youth events. It does not, however, give credibility to global governance, the UN and its agencies, or the international youth sector.

2012 has seen a plethora of youth events in what has arguably been one of the most important years for the global governance of development: Rio+20, Youth Blast, Y20, Youth 21, Special Advisor on Youth, World Urban Youth Forum, COY8 at COP18 and this Global Youth Forum.

But unless something changes fundamentally and quickly about how such meetings are convened and conducted, young people will become so disillusioned and frustrated with these events and processes that they’ll walk away altogether from international decision-making.

The aggravating question: how can we do better?

It is clear that the international youth sector cannot just keep organising endless amounts of tokenistic events – and we all know that this is not a problem just limited to UN agencies.

What needs to change?
What will be changed?
What can be changed?

How can it be changed?

It is clear we must do better – we just have to figure out how.

Read in full Looking back at the Global Youth Forum

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