Live from Paris, here is the update of our 2nd day in the Youth Forum ‘How youth can drive change’.Before reporting what happened yesterday, our LO to SCORP Nassima wants to share with you her personal experience and feeling from the first day:“First day of youth Forum..I arrive to the UNESCO venue in the fresh morning breeze.. only to enter the venue and find a warm buzz of young delegates from all the world.I already feel my heart being warmed by this international atmosphere where I feel so much at home.We start the day by a welcome from the UNESCO DG- Irina Bokova, and then… what was about to give me an even bigger heartwarming feeling and some extra excitement..: A workshop on conflict resolution and reconciliation by Forest Whitaker and his team. Did you read that? Forest Whitaker!!!I am such a fan of him.. No, not because he is famous…but because he is a brilliant actor that chooses his roles really well.. Ever seen: Ghost dog? Last king of Scotland? (Winner of an oscar and a golden globe!) The great debaters???Then you absolutely should!!! 😀And not only this, he is socially committed and is now the good-will ambassador of the UNESCO and organizing workshops for UNESCO.The workshop on conflict resolution and reconciliation had an uplifting effect and really good content. It was co-facilitated by an amazing woman: Rajshree Patel.This workshop will go on the upcoming days, and I can not wait to get back to that energy and learn as much as possible.I am taking notes and trying to engrave everything in my memory in order to be able to reproduce a workshop in this spirit for SCORP.Later that day we had a training on leadership. I think it most be the best I have ever been to.We concentrated on personal leadership that leeds to collective leadership, and we even found out what kind of leader profile we had.After the training, both Joško and I approached the trainer for ressources and contact. We know have that 😉We are all working our networking magic 😉I am collecting cards, hehe 😉We also had a session on social media, and a session on youth agents of change.We ended the day with Peace child: a live interactive musical that was really good. It was surprisingly critical of the system, and I guess it was surprising because it was being presented in the headquarters of the UNESCO. I guess that is the power of culture, and since UNESCO represents that, the youth is speaking their minds. It was truthful messages of hope and a source of inspiration for all the international delegates before the beginning of their work on the draft that will be presented at the end of this forum, and that will be taken into consideration by the UNESCO General Conference.Our little trio delegation enjoyed the day and each others company!These were the highlights of day1 ..So what about today?
After a short night discussing with Joško about the past collaboration between UNESCO and IFMSA regarding HIV/AIDS and debriefing of the day,we went again full of excitement and willingness to the UNESCO headquarter in Rue de Suffren near the Tour Eiffel.
The key word of the day was NETWORKING, NETWORKING and NETWORKING!!! During the expo time we met a lot of other NGOs working on common fields of action.The president of IPSF (International Pharmaceutical Students’ Associations) even told us that she came to the forum with the main aim of meeting IFMSA.So many ambitions and ideas flowing in the air. Young delegates are getting more and more excited about sharing theire problems and discussing solutions. Regions are transmitting resolutions and supporting other’s recommendations in order to have a common draft. Imagine the United Nations Assembly but from a young perspective with new fresh minds full of hopes for a better future.Our well organized IFMSA delegation, trying to benefit from the forum as much as possible, was split between the intensive Conflict Resolution workshop that Nassima attended in the perspective of bringing it to our Human Rights trainings, meetings with organizations working on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS and attending the plenaries to be in the loop of what’s going on.
“Sharing the booth with UNAIDS and UNFPA was very helpful as it gave me the possibility to talk a lot (when I say a lot, it means almost all day) with the representatives from both organizations. They updated me with the UNAIDS plans in the upcoming year which encouraged me a lot because we all realized that IFMSA can engaged a lot and enhance the collaboration between IFMSA and UNAIDS.
UNAIDS is in the crossroad, seeking the new strategy and they want to involve youth as much as possible in shaping that strategy expecting that the strategy will make UNAIDS more youth-friendly. They are crowd-sourcing youth in order to get as much as input as possible from young people. One of the ways how they plan to do it is by holding online moderated discussions in all the regions with young people on how they see UNAIDS should work with youth and what can be improved to be more youth inclusive. One of the online discussion moderators will be our former SCORA Director, Imene Ben Ameur!
UNAIDS representatives asked us, as IFMSA, to join the online discussions, to give our input and to make sure our voice and position and ideas are heard! That is why, I want to encourage all of you to engage in the discussions! The online moderated discussions will start next week, and we in IFMSA will promote the discussions via our social media tools.
We need to make sure that young people working on reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health rights can reach UNAIDS and that youth can be more involved in decision-making.
One very interesting lady I met, is Anne Domatob, from UNFPA African region, who was very delighted to hear about IFMSA and our activities. She was reading our SCORA Magazine from page to page! We agreed on collaboration on the upcoming MM in Ghana and with projects on maternal health in Africa.Joško“
I was disappointed to see that there were no Tunisian delegates in the Youth Forum to face the Tunisian Young voices in the UNESCO recommendations and express the last revolutionary changes we lived the last months.NETWORKING again in the evening reception hosted by Mr Nizan Guanaes,UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and president of Grupo ABC.We had the chance to take a picture with Irina Bokova the Director General of UNESCO. “She was so happy and patient spontaneously meeting with all the youth from different parts of the world. Taking pictures, listening their thoughts and ideas. I couldn’t help but asking myself how come other UN bodies aren’t so opened to youth and including young people in decision making processes as UNESCO is? And that is what I asked the DG Ms Bokova. She answered that it is a good question and that she never thought about that but that we should advocate for that right here, right now putting that recommendation in the final youth report that is to be adopted in the UNESCO General Conference 2 weeks from now! I answered: That’s what we’ll do! Joško“
So,here we are, by the end of the day -23pm-, me and Josko wandering in Paris underground, getting lost in the wrong direction as deep involved as we were in IFMSA related passionate discussions and that’s not the end…Yes Joško realized that he forgot his computer in the plenary room 🙂 Can you imagine how excited he was about UNESCO when he forgot the computer? 🙂By your devoted reporter Lamia