Friday 16 May 2008 - Represented by its Acting Secretary General, Mr. Luc Panissod, the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) participated in a new meeting of the Alliance of Youth CEOs. These organisations have been working together since 1996, when they realised that their 6 movements had great potential for joint advocacy work for young people. The Alliance, which altogether represent more than a 100 million young people, the widest component of organised youth movements in the world, aims to raise international awareness on youth issues through its advocacy work.
The group, which comprises the Chief Executive Officers of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), the World Alliance of Young Men's Christian Associations (YMCAs), the World Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and the International Award Association (IAA), met in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on 16 May 2008.
This meeting was hosted and chaired by the newly appointed YWCA Secretary General, Ms. Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda with the agenda of the meeting focusing on the involvement of the Alliance in different global processes and issues that relate to young people – which are the common priorities of these 6 organisations.
Mr Andres Guerrero, UNICEF representative, joined the meeting to update the participants on a key initiative undertaken by the Alliance of Youth CEOs and UNICEF which is the development of a training manual on Climate Change. This manual will serve as a guide for young people to take the lead in addressing this important topic - also a top priority in the UN’s agenda. The kick-off of the project was a three-day workshop that took place in Geneva from April 3-5, 2008 which was attended by World Scout Bureau representatives, UNICEF, UNEP, UNDP and the UN's Youth Focal Point, who are all involved in the development of this tool.
Mr Salil Shetty, Millennium Campaign Director, made a presentation on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their relation to young people where he also encouraged the CEOs to mobilise the Alliance to take active part in the ‘Stand Up!’ initiative.
The members of the Alliance recognised the MDG's as a priority for young people and have identified 2015 as the opportunity to organise a youth event to evaluate the achievements of the MDGs and to enter into a dialogue with head of states and other worldwide stakeholders.
The next meeting of the Alliance of CEOs is planned to take place in London and will be co-hosted by WAGGGS and the IAA in November this year.
ABOUT THE ALLIANCE OF YOUTH CEOs
The group remains an informal network of the 6 CEOs, with no statutes and no chairman. Besides the inter-generational initiative to empower young people in Africa to prevent HIV/AIDS, and the Pan-African youth forum on HIV and AIDS organised in Senegal in 2003, four publications have been published by the Alliance, including "Girls and Young Women in the 21st Century: A call to action", "The Education of Young People: A statement at the dawn of the 21st century", "National Youth Policies - Towards an autonomous, supportive, responsible and committed youth" and, together with UNICEF, "Children and Young People: Participating in Decision-Making. A Call for Action". In response, many Ministers of Education have consulted the Alliance publications when drawing up their national education policies.
Picture: Mr Salil Shetty, Millennium Campaign Director, Mr Andres Guerrero - UNICEF, Ms Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda - YWCA, Ms Mary McPhail - WAGGGS, Ms Gillian Shirazi - International Awards Association, Mr Bart Shaha - YMCA, Mr Luc Panissod, - WOSM.