YouthLinkExpress Newsletter
vol 8.9
:: Spotlight
Growing Together: Youth and the Work of the United Nations
The United Nations Programme on Youth of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs is the only part of the UN Secretariat to address youth issues explicitly, but there are many other programmes and activities with which the UN system as a whole shows its support of youth development. The new brochure demonstrates how the UN and the youth are growing together and lists actions within the UN system to improve the situation of young people today. It's also analyzing how effectively the UN is responding to the development challenge and identifying the defects in their approach. Click here to read the full report.

1. Network News
2. Get Involved
3. In the spotlight
4. Of Interest
5. Opportunities
6. Take Action

Vidar Ekehaug and Christine Seifert

Mike Alves, Bridget Kearney, Janine Padilla and Christine Seifert
:: MDG Youth Portal
:: Global Youth
Service Day
:: Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS
:: GYAN Mexico
:: Introduction

Dear Friends,

Last week saw the opening of the General Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters here in New York, the time of the year when world leaders speak about their commitments to development, peace and security. At the center of many statements were the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs came out of the Millennium Summit in 2000, and represented a major shift in commitments from governments. For the first time in history, governments recognized that there are enough resources to end poverty, provide education and health care for all, achieve gender equality, and ensure a sustainable development. Also for the first time, there was an actual deadline - 2015 - for making significant progress.

Yet, today, we are far away from reaching the MDGs. What is going wrong? Are the MDGs after all just an unrealistic dream? While governments continue to repeat their commitments to the goals as they have done the last few years, there also seems to be a growing sense of helplessness among many of them. Civil society leaders, on their part, are increasingly concerned that the strategies to achieve the MDGs focus too much on economic growth as a catalyst for development, and ignore the human aspect. The MDGs represent a tangible and deliverable commitment from governments to create a better world, but they are also just a series of numbers, targets and indicators.

The MDGs can be a strong advocacy tool to hold governments accountable, but is the MDG policy framework enough to eradicate extreme poverty and growing inequality? Or do we need to change the whole debate? Share your opinion on this important issue with us on our UN blog!

In solidarity,

Franziska Seel
Executive Director

Vidar Ekehaug
Programs Director

:: Please Support Our Work!

The Global Youth Action Network is one of the leading alliances of youth organizations in the world today. We are youth-driven and count on the support of those who believe in the potential young people have to lead. The organization is poised to increase the scope and scale of our work, and we need your support. There are many ways to help - learn how here, or make a donation today!


Cambodia's youth see politics as a pointless, dangerous game
8/28/08, Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia
Young voters express frustration over the Kingdom's predictably confrontational politics and say fear of reprisal and... More here.

Meet five young candidates in the federal election: they hope to inspire youth
9/11/08, The Canadian Press - Canada
They hail from different provinces, boast varying academic backgrounds and degrees of public experience and carry political... More here.

Check out our UN Reports blog!
The United Nations Headquarters in New York is a place of continuous activity and debate. Although much of the focus is on the annual commissions and high-profile meetings, there are briefings, debates and events every day that contribute to the development debate. The staff and interns at GYAN are regularly attending these events to keep up to date on current issues and to encourage more youth participation. They have recently blogged about many meetings at the UN, regarding pressing issues such as sustainable development, food security, and children's rights. Please leave your comments, questions, and suggestions on the blog, and we will try to address them and bring up your points at future meetings! Click here to read the blog!

GYAN seeks volunteer translators
GYAN is committed to providing information and communication in multiple languages. We are therefore seeking volunteers that are willing to help us translating our newsletters and other announcements from English into Spanish and French. All work can be done online and will require about 4-5 hours of work per month. If you are interested, please contact us. We appreciate your help!

:: Sign Up on
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:: Log on to
Talk face to face via webcam about today's hottest topics.
:: The MDG Youth Campaign Kit
Includes a Youth Action Guide to mobilize for the MDGs
:: Organizations: Join GYAN!
Become a member of a growing alliance of youth organizations.

Stand Up & Take Action against Poverty
Last year, over 43 million people participated at the event promoted by Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) to demand that world leaders keep their promises to end poverty and inequality and put more effort into achieving the Millennium Development Goals. You can join the event on October 17-19 and visit the website for ideas on how to take action. You can also find out what GCAP is doing in your country and how you can get involved with their other initiatives.

Become an Activista
Activista is ActionAid's network of students and young people across 15 countries campaigning for a HungerFREE world. Click here to learn if they are represented in your country and how you can get involved.

:: UN Blog
GYAN staff and interns regularly attend meetings and briefings at the UN; check this blog to see what is happening.
:: The VOICE Section informs youth on how to get involved in policy, and reports on those of interest to young people.

Born to lead on the Arab street
8/29/08, Khaleej Times - United Arab Emirates
Young Arab Leaders is a platform for Arab men and women to take up leadership positions in the world of business, public... More here.

Young people awarded for efforts to reduce criminal damage
9/17/08, GazetteLive - UK
YOUNG people have been recognised for their efforts to reduce criminal damage on Teesside. The five have played an influential role in... More here.

Law students to provide free legal advice, hone their skills
8/25/08, BuaNews Online - South Africa
Law students will have the opportunity to hone their skills while providing poor communities with access free legal services, with... More here.

West Africa: Youth Groups Collaborate
9/10/08, - France
In an effort to facilitate collaboration between youth groups across West Africa, members of the West African Youth Network (WAYN), including... More here.

Chile and its new democratic generation, Spain - 11 Sep 2008
The city of Santiago wakes up to a sunny morning. Sunny and noisy, because the Chilean capital has about six million inhabitants and is a noisy city, ... More here.

Students to wage campaign against Mugabe
8/27/08, Zimbabwe Times - Zimbabwe
Student organisations in Zimbabwe on Wednesday took a swipe at President Robert Mugabe for officially opening the 7th Parliament in clear... More here.

Youth prefer blogging to voting
8/27/08, ScienceAlert - Australia
Young Australians are a potent but often misunderstood political force - more likely to exercise their democratic voice by blogging or... More here.

Arab adolescents and the right to know
8/25/08, Yemen Times - Yemen
Over 11 percent of Arab population is adolescent youth. Although it varies from one Arab country to the other, most teenagers... More here.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: A pilot school that unites all communities of Mostar
Courrier des Balkans, France - Aug 25, 2008
In Mostar, where Croatians and Bosnians stay separated, an international school succeeds after two years in uniting students of the two communities. More here.

The Youth Vote Attracts Both Campaigns
9/11/08, New York Sun - USA
The youth vote director for the Obama campaign, Leigh Arsenault, said she was optimistic about youth turnout in November. More here.

Immigrant youth not more violent than German kids
9/11/08, The Local - Germany
Immigrant youth are not more violent than their German peers, according to a new study by the Universities of Münster and Bielefeld. More here.


What does democracy mean to you?
TakingITGlobal and Youth Media Exchange are asking young people from around the world to create a short video explaining what democracy means to them in their Democracy Video Challenge. Submission deadline is January 31, 2009 and the makers of the seven best videos will win an all-expense paid trip and screening of their video in New York, Los Angeles, and Hollywood. For more information, click here.

:: EVENT SPOTLIGHT [Full Calendar]

Role of Youth and ICTs for Rural Transformation of Nepal
Date: December 15-18, 2008
Location: Syangja, Nepal
Both young people and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) play an important role to uplift the living standard of the youth and the community they live in. Also, Rural Transformation through ICT would ultimately result to meet the Millennium Development Goals. The forum aims at actively engaging young people in debates and discussions with their peer representatives, policy makers, private sector, technology and thought leaders in exploring ways to empower the community and to participate more in society through the appropriate and responsible use of ICT. For more information, click here or send an email.

International African Youth Conference on Environment and Sustainable Development
Date: November 10-13, 2008
Location: Adoumré, Cameroon
The Federation of Young African Greens will hold a meeting for young persons, organizations or associations of youth that believe in the advancement of the African continent, with respect to the Greens Charter. Objectives of the conference include bringing together African youth to brainstorm on major pertinent issues relating to the struggle for environmental sustainability and development in Africa, and to develop appropriate mechanisms for effective Youth-Government engagement. For more information, send an email.

Regional Youth Training in Conflict, Peace, Development and Environment
Date: November 3-8, 2008
Location: Zimbabwe
This training workshop focuses on the interaction between peace, conflict and development. The overall objective is to develop and enhance the participants' skills in understanding the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts and how this impacts on peace and development in their communities. For more information, click here or send an email.

6th Asian Youth Forum International Summit
Date: October 28-November 5, 2008
Location: Tokyo, Japan
The Asian Youth Forum International Summit is a week-long youth event with the aim of bringing young people of Asia together to promote international understanding, intercultural communication and leadership skills. For more information, click here or send an email.

International Conference on National Youth Policy
Date: November 7-12, 2008
Location: Doha, Qatar
Recently the Qatar Youth Authority and the International Council on National Youth Policy agreed to collaborate on a youth conference called 'Turning Policy into Action - learning from a decade of experiences in national youth policy formulation, implementation and evaluation'. One of the main objectives of the conference is to provide a platform for international dialogue on youth policy and to develop an action plan. For more information, click here or send an email.

Many scams invite people to register for a youth conference, and intend only to collect registration fees. Please beware and only pay fees when you are certain it is a legitimate event. Common schemes include events taking place both in the USA and other countries.

International Training Workshop Organized by the Tony Blair Foundation taking place from October 13-17, 2008 in Cambridge, UK.

6th International Training Workshop of NGO and CBO Organized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in partnership with American Trust Bank, the American Social Affairs, Allegheny Foundation, Brady Education Foundation and Rodney Fund taking place from October 20 to 25 in New Jersey, USA.

:: Foundation Center
:: Grant Station
:: European Foundation Center

:: Everything imaginable on TakingITGlobal
:: Google News service
::, discount software

UN HABITAT is gathering information on youth led initiatives with the purpose of creating a global database of youth led activities. Help them by filling out this survey for your organization. The outcomes of the survey will be presented at the World Urban Youth Forum. For more information, click here.

Queen Rania on YouTube
Queen Rania Al Abdullah (Jordan) launched her own channel on YouTube, which is dedicated to breaking down stereotypes of the Middle East and fostering a global dialogue. Queen Rania has played an important role in addressing the global community to promote values of tolerance and increase cross-cultural dialogue. For more information, click here.

World Summit Youth Award
The World Summit Youth Award (WSYA) invites young people to submit electronical contents that address in the UN Millennium Development Goals an inspiring manner. To enter the competition you can use internet and mobile contents to create awareness of the MDGs, show actions towards reaching those goals and demonstrate the consequences of interaction or counter-action. Application deadline is December 31, 2008. For more information, click here.

:: Public Services International
:: Communication Initiative
:: International Environment & Develepment Vacancies


National Youth Parliament Consultant
UNICEF is currently seeking a consultant to help establishing a National Youth Parliament in Solomon Islands. The consultant's responsibilities will include identifying the capacity gaps among key stakeholders, and clarifying the objectives, expected roles, responsibility and mechanism of National Youth Government. For more information, send an email.


JR Peace Scholar Dissertation Program
The Jennings Randolph (JR) Program for International Peace awards a nonresidential Peace Scholar Dissertation Fellowships to students at U.S. universities who are writing doctoral dissertations on topics related to peace, conflict, and international security. Each year the program awards approximately ten fellowships which last for 12 months starting in September. The application is open to citizens of any country;Deadline Jan 5th, 2009. For more information, click here.


Disney Minnie Grants GYSD 2009
The Walt Disney Company and Youth Service America are giving grants of up to $500 to support child-led service projects to take place on Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), April 24-26, 2009. The grants support children (ages 5-14) in planning and implementing service projects in their community. Teachers, older youth (15-25), and youth-serving organizations are also eligible to apply, if they engage younger children in planning and implementing the project. The deadline is October 30, 2008. For more information, click here or send an email.

Staples Youth Social Entrepreneur Competition
In the Staples Youth Social Entrepreneur Competition Youth Venture wants to honor young people that are making positive change in their communities. Enter the competition to receive feedback, find supporters, or win up to US$1,000 in funding to advance your project. Open to all young individuals between 12 and 24 years, the application deadline is October 15, 2008. For more information, click here.


Global Campaign for Peace Education
The Global Campaign for Peace Education (GCPE), an international organized network that promotes peace education to transform the culture of violence into a culture of peace, is coordinated almost entirely on a volunteer basis. You could help by committing a few hours a week to help in one of the following areas: web design, communication, report and information gathering, outreach and fundraising. GCPE is also looking for organizational activity reports and peace education success stories from around the world for their monthly newsletter. For more information, click here or send an email.

Forgotten Diaries
Forgotten Diaries aims to raise global awareness of the lives of children and young people growing up in forgotten conflict zones by allowing the global community to engage in discussions with youth from 10 conflict zones and follow their stories over time as they report on the challenges, issues and opportunities in their lives. Now they are looking to increase the number of participants in the Caucasus area. Young people (15-28) from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan who speak English are encouraged to volunteer toward this project until June 2009. For more information, click here.



End Hunger Now
Sign this online petition by ActionAid, an international anti-poverty agency, urging the world's leaders to address problems caused by the food crisis. Or donate and support the poorest people of the world. For more information, click here.







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