Rio+twenties, a Brussels-based youth-led NGO aiming to facilitate youth participation in the lead up to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio 2012 or Rio+20, has published a new participation guide. The guide wants to encourage young people to get involved, even if political processes at international level can seem daunting, and shares ideas, tips and examples.
Rio+twenties, a youth-led NGO based in Brussels (Belgium), aims to build capacity and empower young people and their representative structures to actively participate in the preparatory processses of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in Rio in 2012 (Rio+20), as well as during and after the conference itself. In this context, the organisation has published their Rio+20 Youth Participation Guide.
Written by Ward Claerbout, Sebastien Duyck, Michaela Hogenboom, Saba Loftus, Ivana Savic and Ben Vanpeperstraete, the 90-page guide features six chapters:
(1) Introducing the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, summarising concepts on sustainable development, outlining key historic moments and documents in the evolution of the United Nation’s work on sustainability and providing an overview of the political and institutional framework of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
(2) The Major Group for Children and Youth, introducing the main platform for youth participation in the Rio+20 process – the Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) after which the chapter is named and which is the main youth constituency for Rio+20, an umbrella under which the various youth organisations, networks, groups and projects coordinate, advocate and act toward achieving sustainability.
(3) What you can do…, describing what youth participation means and doesn’t mean, explaining how youth advocacy can help the Rio+20 negotiations and introducing various roles and functions for which volunteers are needed and welcome, from lobbyism and advocacy to journalism and activism.
(4) Before Rio+20, outlining elements of a good preparation strategy for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development – with a focus on promotion and outreach, but also touching on accreditation, registration and funding.
(5) During Rio+20, exemplifying ways of influencing ways to influence the UN Conference on Sustainable Development from home, outside the conference doors and inside the Rio+20 conference (including meeting interventions, negotiation tracking and corridor lobbying).
(6) After Rio+20, making clear why the follow-up to the conference – whether it’s outcome will be disappointing or encouraging – is key to making change happen in favour of sustainability and calling on all youth activists, lobbyists, advocats and representatives to hold decision-makers accountable before, during and after the UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
If you always wanted to know what Spinach & Friedrich Nietzsche have got to do with youth empowerment and youth participation – this guide answers your questions, and more:
Check out the people, names and faces of Rio+twenties at http://rioplustwenties.org/.