World Youth Conference 2014
The 2014 World Conference on Youth (WCY), held from 6th -10th May 2014 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, brought together more than a thousand young people from 120 countries, as well as 53 governmental delegations, 28 of which included ministers or deputy ministers responsible for youth.
The conference also had participants and observers from various UN agencies and intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations dealing with youth. President of the United Nations General Assembly Dr. John William Ashe and special envoy on Youth Affairs of the Unite Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Ahamad Al Hendavi were among the special guests.
Focused on ‘mainstreaming youth in the post-2015 development agenda’, the conference led to the Colombo Declaration on Youth – a joint text agreed upon by the youth and governmental delegations, outlining recommendations for action in 14 areas, including achieving good governance & accountability, youth-led development, gender equality, and education.
If you want to read more about WYC you can check srilankaguardian.org or youthpolicy.org.
One of the participants, Damjan Nikolovski, shared his impressions about the WYC. He was choosed to participate by Macedonian Government, since he is active youth worker for a long time:
"Rewarding, inspiring yet frustrating experience! Went there with high expectations for the outcome document, having in mind the great zero draft, to see how it was chopped with the speed of light by the representatives of the conservative governments led by the UAE. And we couldn't do much about it since the format of the conference was us- young people having workshops on the different foundations and themes and produce inputs for the only one youth representative in the negotiating room with all the governments representatives where the final document was tailored. So realizing at certain point that a lot of our points are going to be erased, we focused on the annex of the declaration as the real youth voice. So in the end I think we did a good job. Of course it was inspiring and fulfilling to work with so many great young people from around the globe, to develop statements that are politically correct, don't sound so progressive and yet contain everything you stand and fight for, to see pro-youth countries in the negotiating room (such as Brazil) taking a stand with us... And outside the conference hall, the new friendships made with so many inspiring people, the treatment we had from our hosts and never tiering volunteers and the cultural exploration of Sri Lanka were just amazing and something I'll cherish for the rest of my life."