The GYAP 2010-2011 meeting started with two motivational speeches, one followed by the other. First one by the Executive Director of UNFPA and Under-Secretary-General of the UN Dr. Thoraya and that Purnima Mane, Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA. In their speech, they talked about how so much efforts jas been put in the field of youth and also mentioned the major and important events that took place last year along with the achievements. Thoraya mentioned how GYAP has evolved during the past seven years of its existence and how UNFPA expects output out of GYAP every year. Purnima raised a question and asked what will be our next steps. The participants were inspired by their wisdom and addresses how we can follow up on these events that happen every year.
After that, We reviewed the recommendations made by the GYAP 2009-2010 and also how those recommendations were implemented. Later, we were shown a presentation/small video made by the European Youth Forum which was made on the external evaluation of GYAP. It was a good way to explain how GYAP works and gave us a very brief idea on what we’re going to do in the upcoming days. The last thing we did that day, was a brainstorming activity on what were the significant events, achievements and conclusions of the year 2010 on Youth and SRHR. This activity gave us a crystal clear picture of where we stand right now and what needs to be done next time.
On the second day, we started off with selecting topics for the Open Space discussions. Everyone suggested one topic and then all these topics were given votes. Following topics received highest number of votes out of which the first one was suggested by me:
1.Gender Equality and Violence Against Women
2. International Year of Youth, UN Youth Conference, and Lessons Learned From
World Youth Conference
3. SRHR and Youth, and Dealing with the Opposition
4. Regional Trends on Youth SRHR and HIV
5. Youth Movement and Youth Participation
All five topics were given to one table each and had a host. I was the host for the topic I suggested. We at first discussed the topic, its problems, solutions and outcomes. Later after working in groups we shared with everyone what we discussed. Following are the key highlights of the discussions on all five tables:
-Learning from observations of conservative groups – need to build more alliances, a global youth movement
-International Year of Youth
- SRHR advocacy suffering in the Caribbean
- Vienna Youth Conference, Mexico Youth Conference
-HIV is most at risk among Young People in Asia Pacific
- More open space for discussion on sex in Ruanda
- Rate of Sexual abuse in South Asia has gone up
-Maternal Health and its concerns
-Funding and feedback mechanisms
On the third day of GYAP, the discussion on how we can advance and prioritize the youth agenda continued but with more explicit list of topics for open space discussions on each table.
1) International Year of Youth
2) Building alliances
3) Gender & UNWOMEN
4) Beyond advocacy as usual
5) How to improve funding
During these discussions we made a picture of where do we stand right now and where to go from here. We talked about the mistakes we’ve made in the past and what shall be done now to overcome those errors. Everyone one came up with solutions and recommendations to these topic’s issues and concerns and they were shared with everyone. Following are the key highlights of the discussions on all five tables:
- Make a list of existing partners for funding. (friends of friends network)
- Strengthening existing partnerships and with other movements.
- Put IYY logo on our web site
- Have Global Action Day(s)
- Work more with media (celebrities, edutainment, flash mobs, radio shows, music, dance, theatre, short documentaries/ animations)
- Build alliances with organizations not working on Youth issues.
- Increase transparency & accountability in donors – give awards / incentives
- Make a petition from youth org to UNWOMEN to include youth issues
- Facilitate advocacy of young girls org in CEDAW committee
On the last day of GYAP, everyone started to think on the actions that are needed to be taken after we all go back to out countries and regions. Following were the actions and recommendations 2010-2011 GYAP came up with:
1. Advocate for inclusion of youth lens in UNWOMEN and youth issues in CEDAW + meeting.
2. Advocate for stepping up preparation for UN Conference on Youth and participatory process. UNFPA to give information as well as meeting.
3. Develop a plan of activism around IYY.
4. Map partners and increase linkages within youth movements and organizations/
Facilitate meetings across movements/constituencies (esp. on employment and livelihoods, environment).
5. Dialogue with funders and compilation of experiences and bad/good/best practices + meeting (how donors are funding and what); and innovation in funding and resource mobilization.
6. Review of media and communications strategies
7. Support to videos and documentaries.
8. Continue support to IYY Strategy and joint implementation among youth organizations and expand the network. Planning for 2011, beyond the meeting in January (the follow-up on the April meeting) and taking the process forward.
9. Continue advocacy for linkages with livelihoods, employment, and environment.
10. Promote guide on sustainable youth organizations (translation and dissemination), youth participation guidance.
11. Share GYAP evaluation and get feedback on it. Promote the Panel itself to other practices as a good practice.
12. Support advocacy for increased youth participation at the country level within UNFPA (more youth spaces and country Youth Advisory Panels)
13. Seek and provide feedback on final midterm evaluation and assessment
Sixteen recommendations were presented in front of Purnima Mane, Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA. She was very much pleased to listen to these recommendations and also appreciated it. She said we had contributed well and actions will be taken by UNFPA and all other organizations. Everyone including Purnima, Mona and our facilitator through out these 4 days of conference Prateek Awasthi thanked every member on the panel for their presence. We then had selection of the steering committee members. 9 people were nominated and got selected as the steering committee member of UNFPA GYAP and decided to stay in touch during the following year. The meeting ended by a group photo.
Note/Reference: Some of the information\pointers shared here has been taken directly from the posters made by people and YPEER page.