During the second day of the Global Youth Forum in Bali the spotlight was on the transition to 1) Decent work for youth and 2) Families, youth rights and sexuality. The day began with the recommendation outcomes of the comprehensive education World Cafe discussions from the first day. It was inspiring to see that youth all over the world, no matter from what cultural or religious backgroundn they come from, are united in demanding more comprehensive approach in all levels of education, in builiding curricula, in ensuring recognition of non-formal education, in demanding implementation of comprehensive sexuality education in schools, all of that under the values of inclusivity, equality and non discrimination towards any of the marginalised or underserved. There was an overarching agreement that more investments in education of girls and women has direct impact on socio-economic status of the nations and reducing poverty as more girls will stay longer in schools and get necessary education that will empower and equip them with skills to be competitive and get better employment opportunities.
There was another question that was raised during these days and that is – if the global youth forum should represent the voices of youth from all over the world, why are there some elderly people, aged over 40, attending the sessions and taking the lead in the discussions? It doesn´t matter if their views were in the line of the ones of youth or not, it is just the fact that their presence or their use of language impacts young people in comfortably sharing their concerns without fear of authority or to be looked down upon.
Some of those older people were representatives of Indonesian government whose role in the discussions was questionable. They weren´t active in every topic of the discussions, only in ones that were not in line with the government´s policy, such as access to safe and legal abortion. The overall consensus of young people from all of the regions was that women should be granted access to safe and legal abortion free of coercion, or any form of discrimination. However, this didn´t please representatives of Indonesian government. During the plenary where this was presented as one of the key recommendations, member of Indonesian government wanted to take over the microphone on the stage from the moderator. Moderator, Prof. Susan Sawyers said that she monitored the entire process of the compiling of the recommendations from different sessions, including online ones, and she assured that it was done in a highly inclusive and transparent manner.
Today, on the agenda is the discussion on the last of five pressing issues Global Youth Forum has addressed – leadership and meaningful youth participation.
We will keep you posted on the happenings and recommendations that 700 youth delegates came up with.
Remember you can follow everything online and see highlight here: http://www.youtube.com/user/GlobalYouthForum
Anna and Joško,
on behalf of IFMSA delegation to the Global Youth Forum