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The UN, Society, and the World’s Young People: Working together to Solve Global Problems

5 June 2021
ООН, общество и молодежь мира: как совместно решать глобальные проблемы?


Young people need to be trained to be included in the work of the UN, UNICEF, and other international organizations

«I believe the time has come to reform the UN. The UN shouldn’t only work with young people as part of a separate department, but should be open to all young people. Add youth to the UN system,» said Javier Hurtado Mira, Chairman of the Democrat Youth Community of Europe.

«The information flow creates the agenda, not the other way around. What we are doing creates an information flow, and what we are going to do is determined by the information we receive. And we see now that the struggle for information flows has intensified [...] The ability to divide information flows into ‘perception’ and ‘action’ is very important. Among other things, this is what state security consists of, and young people should be aware of their role in this,» said Sergey Pospelov, Executive Secretary of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

«The engagement and involvement of young people and youth is part of the new UN strategy until 2030, which emphasizes the full involvement of young people in achieving goals related to people, the planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership, as well as the sustainable development goals. [...] We must consider the opportunities for getting young people systematically involved in the affairs of society, and it all starts from a young age. UNICEF supports concrete, practical ways in which young people can access local and global opportunities for participation,» said Afshan Khan, Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).


Young people can help the state by fulfilling their potential, but they disengage from it

«The process of globalization (and generally what is happening in the world) has become such that one person cannot understand it. It has become impossible for one person to understand. That is why today there is a trend (which seems a bit false to me) that the individual becomes the main determining factor in development — this should cause caution among young people. Today it’s impossible to understand what’s happening, let alone do something alone. This is why you need to develop the ability for communication within yourself. This includes your personal safety and the safety of your personal social network in life. And we are also seeing this in the international arena [...] that one person or one state cannot cope with the problem of global challenges. So, this must also be taken into account by young people,» said Sergey Pospelov, Executive Secretary of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

«Young people are often invited to listen, but not to be heard. And this isn’t leading to any kind of transformation [...] Young people not only need to be heard, but also need to learn how to influence decision-makers and to participate in complex structures. When there are government representatives on one side and youth activists on the other, it’s difficult to reach a consensus,» said Mihai Dragos, Vice Chair of the Advisory Council on Youth at the Council of Europe.

«Speaking of young people, this does not mean that fences should be erected around us at once. We must talk about promoting young people to institutions and placing them in different positions. Young people can discuss safety [...] With the advancement of technology, young people have the opportunity to gain access to different levers of power. People are afraid of us, but we can already take charge of some organizations despite our young years. Don’t be afraid,» said Javier Hurtado Mira, Chairman of the Democrat Youth Community of Europe.

«If we look at the next generation of young people, they will become the greatest cohort of young people that has ever existed in the history of mankind. Maybe we don’t see this in Europe, but globally this is exactly what it looks like. There are more young people than ever [...] And when we look at the most troubling problems of the current generation, regardless of whether it’s climate change or opportunities for new education or new skills, we understand that most young people don’t even know what profession they will have or who they will be working as in 20 years,» said Afshan Khan, Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).


Building intergenerational ties and engaging young people with the UN agenda will help solve global problems

«The skills that we need to teach [young people] now are teamwork, collaboration, the ability to share information, and problem solving. These are the things that require direct involvement, joint work with them as well as networking and collaboration. So, we need to introduce the systems now and lay the foundation of respect and trust so that later young people can make their contribution to society [...] We must prepare our young people for such possible interruptions in economic activity, and we must provide them with solidarity and support across all generations. And this is precisely the work that UNICEF is doing now. We provide digital online education for young people and parents. We talk about how to properly communicate with adolescents, especially in a world that is rapidly changing and shows no signs of slowing down,» said Afshan Khan, Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

«The United Nations Industrial Development Organization — UNIDO — is a specialized agency within the UN system that promotes cooperation on technical and industrial policy. And the most important topics that the organization deals with is also the development of entrepreneurial initiatives, including youth initiatives and the development of youth projects [...] Today, with the support of the Russian Federation, the UNIDO platform is developing an online educational programme and education for entrepreneurs so that people who are just starting their entrepreneurial projects can successfully implement them and bring them to the international market through digital [...] It’s important not just to create a youth project, but to create a product that fits into the international value chain [...] The system of quality and the introduction of technologies is important, and UNIDO’s experience in this regard is so multifaceted that we would be very happy to share it, including as part of the youth section of the Russia—Africa Festival. We are open here and ready to present our practices [...] In addition, UNIDO is very active in involving representatives of the private sector to solve youth problems,» Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Veronika Peshkova said.

Newsworthy events, forums, and debate platforms will attract young people to discuss and jointly solve problems at the state and global levels

«When we gather at different venues, in one respect, we represent our countries and our organizations, but when we start working together, we become a close friendly community [...] In all the international activities of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, we approached the issue from the point of view of creating specialized project offices. And we have four specialized project offices across the country that focus on different areas of interaction. Some specialize in the Arctic Union, some in Islamic organizations, some in organizations that interact more with Europe, while some are in the formats of the SCO, BRICS, a lot of other bilateral contacts. So, in fact, there almost aren’t any areas that wouldn’t be affected by interaction in youth affairs [...] As for unification platforms, such as forums, even this year we will have several prominent platforms. One of them is the Eurasia Global forum, which is traditionally held in the Orenburg Region, this year from 2 to 8 September. We host about 1,150 people from all over the world,» said Andrey Platonov, Deputy Director of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (Rosmolodezh).

«We organized the Forum of Young Diplomats of the Eurasian Space and were actively involved in organizing the Third Global Forum of Young Diplomats. This is an additional opportunity for us to talk about our agenda and pressing problems, discuss solutions, and infect our young people with the ‘Eurasian virus’. It’s [an opportunity] to get information first-hand because our experts and heads of structural units take part in the events [...] Playing business games gives young people an opportunity to plunge headfirst into the Eurasian agenda and develop their own recommendations and initiatives, which we then shape as a result of our work,» said Daniyar Turusbekov, Chairman of the Youth Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission.

«It would be a huge understatement to say that the World Festival of Youth and Students enabled the development of international cooperation. We managed to [build] a huge number of contacts with major, serious, reputable, and high-profile [organizations], with traditions of foreign and youth organizations both in preparation for the festival and during the festival, and we are continuing to do so [...] We need a new format based on the principles of mutual understanding and trust. There is no doubt that the young people here are the flagship for the development of these relationships,» said Grigory Petushkov, Chairperson of the National Youth Council of Russia Association of Non-Governmental Organizations.

For more information, visit the ROSCONGRESS.ORG Information and Analytical System.