Youth Events in the context of the UNAOC Global Forum
For each Global Forum of the UNAOC, a 1 or 2-day preparatory Youth Event is organized in order to help young participants network prepare collective messages.
For the Global Forum of the UNAOC which took place in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, May 2010, a Cultural Youth Walk was organized in addition to the Youth Event. The youth portion of the program began with a Cultural Youth Walk in Rio de Janeiro’s Saara neighborhood. Saara, a marketplace, brings together in a peaceful, respectful and productive atmosphere over 1,500 merchants from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. Participants in the Cultural Youth Walk were led by local students who translated merchants’ stories about their ability to resolve cultural disputes and collaborate for a successful business environment. The day ended with the youth getting to know one another and a dozen volunteering to speak about their experience in Saara in front of the entire group over dinner.
The next day, the Youth Event was held. Topics such as Democracy, Good Governance, and Cultural Diversity; Empowering Women through Education; Living Together in Urban Societies, we debated and discussed. Youth took on leadership roles in the organization of their discussions, identifying themselves as discussion moderators, presenters, note takers, or reporters. After all issues were discussed in small groups, the floor was opened to the group to decide on what major points to convey to all the Forum participants in the formal presentation of Youth Recommendations presented at the UNAOC Rio Forum
Quote: Alyne, a youth volunteer for the Cultural Youth Walk stated “I had never heard about the UNAOC until I received an email from college informing us about the Cultural Youth Walk and the UNAOC Forum in Rio. The idea of working as a volunteer in a project of the UN involving young people and cultural respect for a better world really got my attention.”