Empowering Youth Nominations Open for Future Policy Award
Press Release-On the eve of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum and the 140th IPU Assembly, the World Future Council, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the support of the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Youth Policy Labs, have kicked off a global call for nominations to identify and honour the world’s most successful policies enabling youth empowerment.
Every year, the most visionary policies tackling humankind’s most pressing challenges are celebrated through the Future Policy Award (FPA), the only global award that recognises policies for the benefit of present and future generations. The World Future Council has awarded this annual prize since 2010 in partnership with UN agencies and the IPU. Recognising that youth empowerment is critical to achieve the Agenda 2030 and address key sustainable development and justice challenges, the Future Policy Award 2019 will put the spotlight on policies that empower young people through decent and sustainable jobs as well as civic and political participation for sustainable development and peace.
Youth empowerment: key to achieving a fairer, more just and sustainable future
Today, there are 1.8 billion young people – the largest generation the world has ever seen. The majority of them live in the so-called developing world. They are almost three times as likely as adults to be unemployed. Yet young people embody the potential of a society and play a crucial role as key architects of the future of their families, communities and countries. Young people are on the frontlines of political and social change and have the power to renew cultures as well as maintain important traditions. With the multiple global challenges we face – climate change, unsustainable food systems, dramatic loss of biodiversity, water scarcity, growing inequalities, conflicts and much more – it is absolutely critical that youth empowerment is promoted and supported through inclusive, effective, inspiring and innovative laws and policies that promote their rights and speed up common action. It is also vital that youth voices are heard and that they meaningfully participate in the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of such laws and policies for example, through parliaments, civil society organizations, and other formal and informal means.
The award will highlight proven policies that effectively promote and scale up local, national and international youth empowerment solutions. We seek policies that advance the economic empowerment of young women and men in decent and sustainable jobs, for instance, youth skills development programmes that pave the way for youth to build the green economy we need. It also encompasses youth entrepreneurship or programmes targeting particularly marginalized groups including women. We also seek inspiring policy and legislative frameworks that enable much more civic engagement and political participation of youth. This includes, for instance, policies that promote enhanced youth representation in politics and decision-making, and enable the integration of youth at all levels of governance.
Representatives of international organizations, academia, non-governmental organizations, parliaments, government agencies, and others have until the 26th April to nominate exemplary policies through the online form (available in English, at http://bit.do/eNoZb) or with a word version of the form (available on request, in English, French and Spanish, at: firstname.lastname@example.org). Winners will be selected by a high-level jury of experts and announced in October 2019 at an award ceremony in Belgrade, Serbia, during the 141st IPU Assembly. For further information, please visit: https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/p/2019-empowering-youth/.
Youth at a crossroads
Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator and Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group says: “Youth are powerful agents of change, driving important conversations and actions today on critical issues like climate change, peace building, and social entrepreneurship. In recognition of this role, UNDP supports initiatives globally that recognize, promote, and support youth leadership, expanding civic space for youth and encouraging youth-led innovation.”
“At a time when world youth population is bigger than ever before, only 2.2 per cent of parliamentarians worldwide are under 30 years of age. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the youth political deficit. Representation is a source of strength. Laws and policies that empower youth and better include them in decision making results in better outcomes for people of all ages and future generations. This Future Policy Award is a timely opportunity to share and celebrate laws and policies that have proved successful. I call on you all to nominate your experiences not only for a chance to win the Award itself, but to inspire further action around the globe,” underlines Martin Chungong, Secretary General of the IPU.
“This year’s Future Policy Award will celebrate proven solutions that make youth empowerment a reality. The World Future Council is determined to work with its partners in order to identify and share the best policies for advancing decent and sustainable jobs and civic and political participation in the interest of sustainable development and peace. It is critical that we learn from policies that are already making an impact,’’ says Alexandra Wandel, Executive Director of the World Future Council.
“In the world there are 1.8 billion young people, the largest generation ever. Most of them live in developing countries where they tend to make up a large proportion of the population. This reason should be enough to understand the crucial importance of effective youth policies to promote young people’s meaningful political and civic engagement, as well as their economic empowerment and access to decent and green jobs,” says Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.
The winners of the 2019 Future Policy Award will be celebrated at a high-level award ceremony at IPU’s 141st General Assembly in Belgrade (Serbia) in October 2019, convened by the World Future Council in partnership with IPU and UNDP, with the support of the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the ILO, the Michael Otto Foundation, the Jua Foundation and Youth Policy Labs. The Award Ceremony typically brings together more than 200 decision-makers, including heads of state, ministers, permanent representatives, parliamentarians, youth, heads of international organisations and leading civil society organisations from across the world.
The World Future Council
The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of law and policy making. The Council consists of 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, the arts, civil society, academia and business. Together they form a voice for the rights of future generations. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and identifies and promotes effective legislative and policy solutions among decision makers. www.worldfuturecouncil.org
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the world’s organisation of parliaments. It was founded in 1889 as the first multilateral political organisation, encouraging cooperation and dialogue between all nations. Today, IPU comprises 178 national parliaments and 12 associate members. It empowers youth by supporting parliaments to better provide access to youth to political decision-making, and include a youth perspective in legislation and policies. We build capacities of young MPs and provide platforms for them to coordinate actions at the global, regional and national levels. We also monitor youth representation in parliaments and issue policy and legislative guidance to boost it. https://www.ipu.org/
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. UNDP recognizes, supports and promotes the role of young women and men as agents of change and has implemented its first-ever UNDP Youth Global Programme since 2016. https://www.undp.org
UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
The Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth serves as a global advocate for addressing the needs and rights of young people, as well as for bringing the United Nations closer to them. The Envoy’s Office is part of the United Nations Secretariat and supports multi-stakeholder partnerships related to the United Nations system-wide action plan on youth and to youth volunteer initiatives. The office also promotes the empowerment and foster the leadership of youth at the national, regional, and global levels, including through exploring and encourages mechanisms for young people’s participation in the work of the United Nations and in political and economic processes with a special focus on the most marginalized and vulnerable youth. The UN Envoy on Youth works on realizing the Youth2030: The United Nations Strategy on youth. https://www.un.org/youthenvoy/
The International Labour Organization is the United Nations agency for the world of work. It sets international labour standards, promotes rights at work and encourages decent employment opportunities, the enhancement of social protection and the strengthening of dialogue on work-related issues. The ILO was founded in 1919, in the wake of a destructive war, to pursue a vision based on the premise that universal, lasting peace can be established only if it is based on social justice. The only tripartite U.N. agency, the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men. www.ilo.org
Youth Policy Labs
Youth Policy Labs is the leading global think-tank specifically focusing on youth and is hosted by the Berlin-based NGO Demokratie & Dialog e.V. We operate at the junction of research and journalism, producing high-quality and well-researched knowledge with the aim of improving public policies that affect the lives of young people. We champion the development of youth policies, promote young people as researchers, facilitate international discussion on youth policies, and advocate for stronger coherence within the United Nations and donor agencies on youth rights, policies and programmes. Our team is made up of youth policy experts, youth researchers, and young journalists. Our publications are published under Youth Policy Press, a global publishing house on youth issues. http://www.youthpolicy.org/