World Youth Conference, 26 August 2010
Today was a day of networking and meetings with UN agencies and other NGOs, as well as following the government forum. The Global Interactive Forum (GIF) was still going strong, with young people from Mexico streaming into the centre and the WAGGGS interactive MDG stand as busy as ever.
At one stage today the queue for the activities was out the stand and across the room! The young women volunteers from Guias de Mexico are doing a great job, able to answer all the questions about the MDGs and about our programme on them. They have learnt a lot too.
Vicky Gagliano, Deputy World Centre Manager at Our Cabaña
A WAGGGS reception at the stand in the afternoon was a great opportunity to thank partners, friends, volunteers and the delegates for their work over the week and for all the various parts of the delegation to meet together and share stories of the week and plan for action after the conference.
Some of our partners took part in the MDG activities at the stand, such as the HIV and AIDS board game and the environmental sustainability jango puzzle. They came away with a much better understanding of how non-formal education can help in the achievement of the MDGs.
|WAGGGS had the opportunity to chat with Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, about the situation that young people face in Iran. You can watch the video.|
Several GIF side events were also on today, including one hosted by the UN Programme on Youth (UNPY) and the World Federation of United Nations Associations WFUNA). This explained to youth participants and youth organizations how they can support and encourage their governments to establish youth delegates as part of the main country delegations to the UN General Assembly and ECOSOC events.
Last year at the General Assembly, only 41 out of a possible 192 countries had a youth delegate as part of their country delegation. One of the main barriers is financial but there are ways we can improve on this.
Divya Mansukhani from UFUNA
The UNPY has developed a handbook for governments to help them set up such delegations and the WFUNA has published a handbook from the other perspective, giving youth and youth organizations tips on how to lobby their government to include youth in an official capacity. Visit www.WUFUNA.org for a copy.
Some of the delegates also managed to leave the Poliforum for a few hours and five delegates visited the local city of Guanajuato.
We took a mini bus from the hotel for the 45 minute journey, playing Mexican bingo en route! The city is built above a series of stone road tunnels. We visited two churches, walked to the top of some stairs to take in the inspiring view of all the houses built in the hill side painted in an array of colours, enjoyed a snack of nachos and tequila, shopped for souvenirs and visited the ‘kissing balcony’ - two balconies so close together it is possible to kiss across them! We then rewarded ourselves with some traditional Mexican cuisine in the very pretty main square. We returned by taxi to the WAGGGS reception and a photo shoot! This trip only took 25 min so we think that the driver understood that we were late.
Our evening was spent in Leon the local city where we did a little more shopping, had our dinner then sat on a balcony at a bar looking across the main square again taking in some local culture with the musicians and drinks and a light show projection on the municipal hall.Jen, Cheryl, Jeanelle, Anna and Monica (and Steve, WAGGGS’ volunteer photographer)