United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth Engagement Report World Humanitarian Summit

Background

The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) is a multi-stakeholder process launched by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012 and coordinated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), aiming to address challenges faced within the current humanitarian landscape and strengthen communication and collaboration.

The process led up to the first ever World Humanitarian Summit, taking place on the 23–24th of May 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. The Summit gathered representatives from member states, UN agencies, humanitarian actors, NGOs, private sector, science and academia and affected populations to discuss ways to improve humanitarian action along five identified key areas:

  1. Prevent and End Conflict
  2. Uphold the Norms that Safeguard Humanity
  3. Leave No One Behind
  4. Working differently to end need
  5. Invest in Humanity

The WHS also saw the launch of over 3000 different commitments made towards the Secretary-General’s’ Agenda for Humanity, by both member states and other actors. The report from the WHS will be up for adoption during the 71st session of the UN General Assembly.

Representation

200 youth participants were invited to take part in the Summit. The United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY) took active part in the nomination and selection of these youth participants, and worked to ensure the availability of funding and information for these participants. Over 30 members of the UN MGCY facilitation team participated in the WHS, along with representatives from UN MGCY member organisations.

Pre-World Humanitarian Summit Youth Forum

A pre-WHS Youth Forum took place on the 22nd of May. The Youth Forum was open for the youth participants of the WHS along with 150 young people from Turkey and 150 young Syrian refugees residing in Istanbul.

UN MGCY was one of the organisers of the pre-forum, together with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Youth Assembly, UN-Habitat and the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.

The forum included breakout discussions around the themes of the WHS, a training on advocacy, a briefing around communication and social media for youth participants during the meeting and speeches from many of the organisers, including the UN MGCY. Members 2 from the UN MGCY held the training and briefing around advocacy and communication, and facilitated the different breakout sessions.

During the meeting, UN MGCY also worked with members from the United Network of Young Peacebuilders to conduct a consultation with Syrian youth, outlining recommendations towards the international community on their response to the crises in the Syrian Arab Republic.

To find out more please visit http://www.childrenyouth.org/