Youth, unlike other classifications, are only similar in age and are vastly different in terms of geographic, economic, political, social, cultural, and educational aspects.
Therefore, when they come together, they share different perspectives and create new ideas. That’s why the importance of youth solidarity and engagement has always been emphasized.
The IPYG’s Youth Empowerment Peace Workshop is a discussion-based workshop that acknowledges this diversity and brings together young people to freely discuss their creative ideas and put them into action to solve social problems, achieve peace, and realize youth rights.
The first IPYG’s Youth Empowerment Peace Workshop in 2021 was held for three months from November 2020 to January 2021. Over 100 youth organizations from 40 countries attended the workshop, which was held under the theme “The Role of Youth in Pandemic Recovery and Sustainable Future.” Youth leaders from each of their respective countries and continents discussed social issues that stemmed from the pandemic and looked for a solution.
Youth leaders from Africa discussed issues they are facing within their country and continent as well as similar cases other countries are facing to look for a solution to common problems. They all agreed that there is a lack of basic education for youth and promised to create a plan to foster educators for youth and to start private education volunteering.
According to UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report and the World Bank, a country’s per capita GDP increases by 2 to 2.5% with every one-year increase in education levels. Research and statistics also show that a 10% increase in secondary education lowers the risk of war by 3%. Therefore, it is clear that providing appropriate education to the youth can solve many social problems. Expansion of national education was also restricted in Africa so positive effects are anticipated with the active participation of civil society.
In addition, the youth agreed that they should unite to guarantee education in order to empower youth at the Oceania and Asia workshops. Youth leaders shared cases about how youth cannot access basic education due to issues such as conflict, poverty, and social structure and discussed key problems that violate the right to education and how to solve them. The participants pledged to search for youth activities that focus on advocating for opportunities for lifelong education and providing fair and high-quality education to all according to SDG4.
Youth organizations in Europe discussed school and cyberbullying issues to look for a solution. The participants shared many creative ideas that can only come from the youth. One participant from the Germany workshop suggested creating a hip-hop song with singers to raise awareness for cyberbullying and its prevention, and another suggested creating a drama or play about cyber vaccines in order to raise teen awareness. Youth leaders in Europe plan to work together by building a cooperation network between civic organizations based on various ideas.
The IPYG’s Youth Empowerment Peace Workshop will continue to encourage and support the youth to share their creative ideas and take on challenges to achieve the SDGs in each country and continent, as well as globally.
1. UNESCO, Global Education Monitoring Report, Teaching and learning: achieving quality for all; EFA global monitoring report, 2013-2014; summary, p. 23
2. World Bank, Understanding Civil War, 2005, p. 16