The 2013-2014 year was certainly an intense but productive one for the UN Advocacy Team. From New York to Sri Lanka to Azerbaijan to Sweden and beyond, the UN Advocacy Team was able to take the message of Pax Romana and its millions of members to political negotiations, UN meetings, NGO trainings, and other important events throughout the year. Today, the hard work and efforts of the members of the UN Advocacy Team means that young people are moving closer to creating a youth-led and youth-based advocacy infrastructure in New York that can serve IMCS, ICMICA, ICMYO, the MGCY, and all other civil society partners for years to come. The UN Advocacy Team is laying the bedrock by acting as the first official ICMYO Liaison to the UN, and taking a leading and primary role in the MGCY. It is with great pride that the UN Advocacy Team presents this report and hopes the International Teams of the Pax Romana movement will accept and share it with all regional coordinators and national movements.
The UN Advocacy Team did not participate fully in the 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) because of the fact that Chris was living in Sri Lanka at the time and the team was more focused on SDG and post-2015 matters. Nevertheless, the team did conduct an online consultation with the movement in preparation for Pax Romana’s policy submission for CSW and Chris Malano, the former Secretary General of IMCS, was in New York liaising with ICMYO partners, namely the YWCA and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), and helping other youth with their advocacy. As mentioned previously in this report, the team is focusing much less on ECOSOC commissions like the CSW and putting much more energy into post-2015 and related processes. For further reading, the agreed conclusions of the CSW are available online.
The Post-2015 Development Agenda process has been a complex and arduous journey. It includes a number of other processes that are described in this report, but also some events that require a separate description. As a result, this section of the report will detail a number of events within the larger post-2015 framework that are not necessarily part of a separate policy process, namely the High Level Political Forum (HLPF).
The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), which is being hosted by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), will take place in Istanbul in 2016. The WHS was initiated by UNSG Ban Ki-Moon as to renew the world’s coordination of humanitarian assistance. OCHA reached out to the UN Advocacy Team to discuss how to involve youth in the WHS consultation and policy process. After making the necessary connections, OCHA is now working with the MGCY and ICMYO organizations to establish a WHS Youth Task Force, which will be the lead youth body throughout the WHS process. The team is playing a leading role in the creation of the Task Force and will participate in its work. Already, a survey is being formulated to gather the voices of youth in preparation for the WHS.
The World Conference on Youth aims to build on the previous World Youth Conference. However it will take joint resolution rather than two separate (like the Structured Dialogue). It aims to produce the Colombo Action Plan/Road Map on how we can better fuffil the World Programme on Action on Youth and a strong youth presence in the development agenda.
It has been recognised by the UN General Assembly "welcoming" the conference, and "calling" on members states to engage young people in discussions about WPAY developments and youth in development. There is also a push to use this conference to launch voluntary commitment on better youth funding by governments using a UN depositary which will record the global investment of young people for the first time. It will also be a space to strengthen global youth movements and youth participation at the global level.
As mentioned previously, things have been crazy here in New York. This Third Committee of the GA has been one of the most hectic, stressful, and politically charged of any our team has attended. There are simply too many players on the youth stage these days and it is becoming very apparent that agendas are not in sync. Anyhow, from the Pax Romana and ICMYO side, we have been fighting for several policy points in the youth resolution, of which the Permanent Forum on Youth is a major one.
The ICMYO Annual Meeting centered around the reform of the network, as well as expanding our membership. The delegates there decided that we should formalize our once informal association as to make us more viable players in UN policy. Now, the new Task Force, which once again includes IMCS, will go about making the necessary changes. We collaborated wonderfully with IYCS during the meeting and from the UN Team side, we look forward to working more with IYCS in the future.
The first meeting of the IYTF of the WCY went exceedingly well. We are happy to say that the government of Sri Lanka gave us the space to make decisions without interference from political figures. For now, the planning for the WCY will be a youth-led process. The main decisions that were made during our first meeting in Colombo are as follows: