The United Nations Youth Delegate programme is a participation mechanism for young people to attain negotiations between the government and the youths. However, African countries are not being fully represented in the United Nations and the policies for young people cannot be made without having them in participation.
Youth delegates can participate in several intergovernmental meetings at the United Nations in respect to the mandate accorded them by their countries but most popular is the Third Committee of the General Assembly. Participation in decision-making is one of the key priority areas of the United Nations agenda on youth. The youth delegate programme is coordinated by the Focal Point on Youth at the global level, but it is the responsibility of the Member States to establish a youth delegate programme at the national level and to decide who will represent the young people of their country.
While an average of 35 countries has UN Youth Delegate programmes, these are mostly countries of the global north (Europe and North America) thus excluding youth contributions from the global south (Africa, Asia, and South America) in official discussions at the UN.
The UN Youth Delegate programme is a platform to include youth representatives in official delegations of countries to the UN especially during the UNGA and HLPF to ensure that young people bring in youth perspective to the table either as advisors or observers.
At the moment of writing this, the workshop on Establishing a UN Youth Delegate Programme For Countries of the Global South was ongoing in Frankfurt Germany.
As the consultation process begins, our guiding questions include: What mechanisms should be in place for youth in Africa towards the programme? What key partners should we consult in our different countries? How should we approach them? What should our key message be? Why should we young people be brought to the table?
Some helpful links and documents
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