Meetings of Stakeholders active in the field of Youth
The Meetings of Stakeholders is a recurrent annual activity of the Youth Cooperation Programme aiming at increasing coordination and fostering cooperation among different youth-related entities (national youth councils, youth umbrella organisations, youth-related national bodies, international and inter-governmental institutions etc..).
International players of the youth sector usually have scarce opportunities to discuss, share and cooperate if not within specific project/programme frameworks or at the margins of institutional public fora. More frequent and stable moments of dialogue and interaction are necessary to strengthen youth cooperation at global level and to build a more effective multilevel global governance.
Having had in the past different regional focuses according to the programmatic orientation of the North-South Centre (Euro-Arab, Euro-Mediterranean, Euro-African..), in 2020-2021 within the “Global Youth” project, the meeting of stakeholders aims to increase its scope and relevance: from being an informal occasion to share experiences and updates on ongoing projects at regional level, the meeting is now an opportunity to understand the state-of-art of the sector, to address the mutual challenges, to advance the global youth agenda and to identify possible synergies without geographical boundaries.
At the first meeting of the new cycle, held in May 2020, most of the main international players of the youth sector from the inter-governmental level (Office of the Special Envoy on Youth of the African Union, League of Arab States, United Nations Alliance of Civilisations…) and the youth-led level (United Network of Young Peacebuilders, Network of International Youth Organisations in Africa, Youth Forum of the Portuguese Speaking Countries Community) participated.
Through the stakeholders’ meetings, the North-South Centre act as a facilitator ensuring a safe and structured space for dialogue and mutual understanding among players of the youth sector at inter-regional level. The sharing of perspectives, lessons learned, and concerns aim at finding a common ground in terms of priorities and messages worth being mainstreamed at inter-regional level to preserve the centrality of youth policies and of the role of young people.
The meetings of stakeholders are designed as a platform to encourage networking, peer-learning and relationship building where inputs and initiatives are shared, commented and combined in an informal, yet technical manner, to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs and build a stronger multilevel global governance.
On-line meeting of International Stakeholders active in the field of Youth
Considering the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, which is challenging traditional spaces for dialogue, the 1st meeting of International Stakeholders active in the field of youth was held in May 2020 to meet the need felt by many organsiations to have a joint moment to reflect and analyse the current challenging time.
The main aims were to maintain connections among like-minded organisations, to draw a picture of the state-of-art of the current situation at inter-regional level and to share the challenges of the youth sector amidst the pandemic. In some parts of the globe, in fact, the COVID-19 pandemic brought additional concerns related to the shrinking space for civil society.
The meeting’s starting point was the sharing of the different ways in which major players in the youth sector are adjusting their agendas, programmes and initiatives according to the current unexpected circumstances, assessing together the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on entities working with young people.
The meeting allowed an analysis of the impact of the new on-line dimension of youth programmes, the identification of critical points in terms of outreach and advocacy spaces for young people, the sharing of best practices and drafting recommendations to enhance inter-regional cooperation.