4.3 Global Youth Conferences


Youth networks are structured around global events, communication channels, and institutional as well as personal relationships. Agents of global collaboration have a responsibility to encourage collaboration, partnership and information sharing in all networks and events where they have voice.




World Youth Forum - http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/forum/index.html


Hosted by the United Nations Youth Unit in Dhakar, Senegal, August 6 - 10, 2001. It takes place every three years. It is the chief youth conference of the UN system and is responsible for developing and implementing global action plans for youth and promoting the UN charter in member countries. (Organizer: 212-963-7763 Joop Theunissen theunissen@un.org)


World Youth Festival - http://www.pa/festival2001/


Hosted by the youth ministry of Panama in Panama City, July 19 - 26, 2001. Last held in Portugal in coordination with the UN World Youth Forum, the W. Y. Festival builds from regional youth platforms and uses forums and workshops to build youth networks. (Organizer: 507-321-0315 Torres de Leon vatorres@cwpanama.net)


World Festival for Youth and Students - http://www.wfys15.dz/anglais


Hosted by Algiers, Algeria, August 8 - 16, 2001. This 15th Festival follows the 14th 1997 Festival in Cuba which attracted 17,000. The event is dedicated to celebrating human diversity, denouncing fascism, and protecting human rights. The program builds upon the platforms that support it and reshapes itself to meet the demands of its participants. (Organizer: 00 213 /2/ 72-15-47 UNJA - Algerian National Youth Union snj_unja@yahoo.fr)


Articles describing the 1997 event:






Hague Appeal for Peace - http://www.haguepeace.org


The Hague (Den Haag), Netherlands. On the 100th anniversary of the May 1899 H. A. P. (the first international peace conference in world history) 10,000 people gathered to discuss a mandate for peace in the 21st Century. 2,000 of the attendants were youth. The event observed the birth of several networks including the Global Campaign for Peace Education and the Hague Appeal for Peace Youth Network.


Millennium Forum - http://www.millenniumforum.org


Hosted by the UN Secretariat in New York, USA, May 22 - 26, 2000. Several thousand civil society NGO representatives gathered to consult the UN on its future. 200 of the delegates were youth. The event observed the creation of the millenniumYouthForum@yahoogroups.com mailing list.


State of the World Forum - http://www.worldforum.org


Hosted originally in San Francisco, USA in September 1995 and in four other cities around the world the SoWF gathers business, academic, government and civil society leaders for multi-stakeholder dialogues. Of the 2,500 participants nearly 10% are youth. Sired by the Gorbachev foundation the event has witnessed the creation of a number of youth networks including Pioneers of Change, the Emerging Leaders Program, and Global Youth Connect.


UN World Conferences - http://www.un.org


Beginning in the 1990s the UN system called for a series of World Conferences on Women, Habitat, Population, Social Development, Environment and Development, Sustainable Development, Food, Against Racism and others. Each UN World Conference has a youth caucus. Unfortunately the caucuses have not birthed youth networks nor have they been interconnected, permitting them to build off each other.


Anti-Globalization Protests - http://www.protest.net and http://www.indymedia.org


Seattle hosted the annual meeting of the World Trade Organization in November of 1999. 70,000 anti-corporate globalization activists confronted police officers in the streets and prevented the event from beginning. The event witnessed the birth of indymedia.org (global independent media portal) and the creation of many additional networks. Succeeding protests were organized in Washington DC, Prague, Melbourne, Davos, and Quebec City in opposition to the IMF, World Bank, World Economic Forum, and FTAA. In each city networks of activists formed coalitions and stronger relationships. Consistently well over half of the protestors are youth.


World Social Forum - http://www.worldsocialforum.org


Hosted by the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil, January 2003. In contrast the Switzerland based World Economic Forum the W. S. F. gathered 100,000 peace and justice leaders for a dialogue on globalization preaching that "an alternative is possible." The event bolstered the many youth networks in Brazil and enjoyed the presence of 30,000 youth.


Many global youth organizations, networks, and religions have international conferences that attract thousands. The World Scout Jamboree for example gathers 40 thousand Scouts in a different city every four years. Other groups that host or have hosted such conferences include: the Junior Summit, Millennium Young People's Congress (Peace Child), IEARN, Junior Chamber International, AIESEC, United World Colleges, 4H, YMCA, Sister Cities International, Oxfam, World Assembly of Youth and more.