Youth Reshaping Institutions:         new rights for global challenges

 

The interconnected, fast-paced nature of an increasingly globalized world has played a significant role in changing both social dynamics and the way we think of, and tackle, global challenges and issues of international relevance. As traditional power structures and communication patterns are no longer always applicable, the increasing role of non-traditional stakeholders in the public debate must be accounted for, understood and encouraged. In particular, without precedents in history, in the last decades the role of young people as key partner to spreading awareness and drivers of change has become more and more relevant in the development of strategies for a sustainable future.

The United Nations have undergone major changes to include youth in the Organization and in the debate regarding sustainable development, recognizing the pivotal role that young people can play in finding innovative solutions to international crises. Indeed, in his second mandate agenda, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon included working with young people as a top priority. Thus, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi was appointed as first-ever Envoy on Youth and the youngest senior official in the history of the Organization. The role of the Envoy on Youth is that of enhancing, empowering and strengthening the position of young people within and outside the United Nations System. Moreover, in December 2015 the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2250 (2015), urging Member States  to increase inclusive representation of youth in decision-making processes at all levels.

It is clear that we are witnessing an ongoing process of youth empowerment within the context of traditional “institutions”, including their active participation in negotiations and policy-making mechanisms. More importantly, youth is called to innovate and promote reshaped frameworks for action to address emerging needs in society, foster social advancement, peace and equality. Rising concerns such as migration waves, regional instability and extremism go hand in hand with new instances of recognition and protection of rights in the areas of privacy, data-protection, climate change, LGBTI, gender equality, protection from war crimes. In this complex scenario, the role of youth in ensuring social innovation and advancement becomes paramount.

AlmaMUN 2016 powered by UNLAB (with the contribution of the University of Bologna) will revolve around setting guidelines and redefining boundaries of youth action across different fields and committees: policies and decisions will therefore be tailored to the challenges faced by the different international bodies simulated. Delegates and chairs will be confronted with the demanding task of not only addressing pressing issues at stake in their areas of expertise, but also reshaping traditional parameters for youth action.
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