A Critical Year: 2015 as Chance for Global Action

On 1 January, in many countries around the world has started what will be one of the most critical years in our lifes. 2015 is a benchmark for several reasons. Not only does it mark the year when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) terminate, but the possibility of the post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) replacing the MDGs and the chance to replace the Kyoto Protocol at the Paris Climate Conference offer an opportunity for the international community to finally fulfill its promise to achieve sustainable development worldwide.

Photo of 2015 New Year celebration | Free christmas images

But before the UN General Assembly can adapt the post-2015 agenda at a Summit held from 25 to 27 September 2015 in New York, many obstacles will arise, many challenges have to be faced and many problems need to be solved. One is the financial aspect. Surely, no country wants to bear the immense costs for transforming global economy and society, but on the other hand, there are states that are not capable of financing sustainable development by themselves. Who shall pay the bill? Several meetings are dedicated to answering this open question, culminating in the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (13 – 16 July 2015, Addis Ababa). Some observers state that the adaptation of the post-2015 agenda will depend on the outcome of this conference.

Second, the wording and the text itself: The Open Working Group (OWG) has presented a proposal, consisting of 17 SDGs and several targets and indicators. However, its immense work is now followed by a range of intergovernmental negotiations, starting with the ones from 19 to 21 January and taking place monthly in New York. They are expected to be complicated and the outcome is far from guaranteed.

We the Peoples

These challenges are typical for any international negotiation process and should not prevent the international community from focusing even harder on reaching its aim: sustainable development after 2015. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has presented an interesting Synthesis Report about all the steps that had been undertaken so far on “The road to dignity by 2030: ending poverty, transforming all lives and protecting the planet”. And Civil Society is increasing its efforts: 7 million voices have been counted in the MyWorld Survey, NGOs are getting ready for a global launch of their activities.

And after all the attention paid to the post-2015 agenda, the Paris Climate Conference in December is coming up. Being the last chance to agree on a replacement for the outdated Kyoto Protocol, this event should not be forgotten.

All in all, 2015 will be a crucial year for the UN, for Civil Society and for people around the world. Let’s use this unique opportunity and turn 2015 into a year of global action!

The International Youth Day 2014 Especially Dedicated to “Youth and Mental Health”

Global MUN Workshop 4A year after the meeting in Lisbon of the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in 1998, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared August, 12th, the International Youth Day. Since then this date is special and it’s a source of inspiration for all the youth of the world.

We can shape the world! We need to make sure that the voice of youth is heard by decision-makers and within the international organizations. We would like ensure that the youth has a voice in the issues of human rights, sustainable development, education, health,… you name it! There are so many topics that concern our generation… Today in the world there are a total of 1.1 billion of youth. We will have to find solutions to the mistakes made by the current generation of world leaders. We feel we have a great responsibility to speak up and we cannot compromise the future of next generations, especially regarding peace and sustainable development. That’s why our voices need to be heard in the decision making process more than ever. Therefore, united we are stronger.

This year 2014, during the International Youth Day, we are united to speak up especially to raise awareness about the topic of this year which is “Youth and Mental Health”. We encourage all youth to speak up against discrimination which could lead to any sort of exclusion. We encourage YOU to write an article about a situation that highlights the experiences of brave, youngsters that have chosen to speak up “about these issues with the objective of overcoming stigma and discrimination to ensure that young people with mental health conditions can lead full and healthy lives free from isolation and unnecessary shame, and openly seek the services and support they need”. Remember that every positive change in the world starts with YOU!

Thank you for your attention and we wish you all to celebrate with us the International Youth Day.




UNYANET has been ein Berliner


Photo: UNYANET Board Meeting in Berlin 2014

Ich bin ein Berliner, said JF Kennedy. Now the UNYANET Board can also claim to be
Berliners. The Board of the United Nations Youth Associations Network has met in the German capital from 31st May till 1st June 2014. The purpose of the meeting has been to prepare the General Assembly as well as to evaluate the different Working Groups and of course to explore the great atmosphere of Berlin. Continue reading

Successful execution of the workshop on intercultural dialogue

slovenia3The United Nations Association of Slovenia (UNAS) hosted the workshop “Intercultural Dialogue”, led by our volunteer Ana Podgornik. Participants were offered an insight into the main characteristics and challenges of intercultural dialogue, as well as the issue of intercultural conflicts.

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One month in the United Nations Information Service in Vienna

From nuclear energy to political crises and environmental sustainability, from Accra to Yaoundé and from strategic planning to awareness raising events, the United Nations Information Service in Vienna (UNIS) is part of a global network of United Nations Information Centres. It informs the public about the UN’s work, engaging local authorities, civil society organizations, universities, students and UN visitors in its activities. It also acts as secretariat to the United Nations Communications Group (UNCG) in Vienna and promotes the UN goals by reaching out to the media, government entities, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), academia and the private sector.

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Crowdsourcing Platform for Youth Priorities in the Post-2015 Agenda

On 18 February the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, in partnership with other UN entities, international NGOs, and youth groups and stakeholders, has launched the online crowdsourcing platform for youth priorities in the post-2015 development agenda. Moderated by both UN agencies and youth organizations, this online crowdsourcing platform allows for the instant interaction between thousands of young people around the world, giving them the opportunity to share their ideas on youth development. The expected outcome of the crowdsourcing initiative is a consolidated list of youth priorities to be shared with Member States for the intergovernmental deliberations.
Ahmad Alhendawi encourages youth constituencies to not only join in the online discussions, but also mobilize their networks to promote the crowdsourcing initiative and help them to build a collective vision for youth in the post-2015 Development Agenda. Please make your voice heard through https://crowdsourcing.itu.int. More information is available at http://www.un.org/youthenvoy/news/crowdsourcing-initiative-on-youth-in-the-post-2015-development-agenda-launched-today/.