National Youth Policies - A working document from the point of view of "non-formal education" youth organizations

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National Youth Policies - A working document from the point of view of "non-formal education" youth organizations - Towards an autonomous, supportive, responsible and committed youth Document is a complement to “The Education of Young People: A Statement at the dawn of the 21st century” This document has been produced by the chief executive officers of the world’s largest youth movements who are also the authors of “The Education of Young People. A statement at the dawn of the 21st century”. It contains their recommendations on national youth policies, without which education in general (and non-formal education in particular) cannot find its rightful place in the proper long-term and global perspective. There is a need for each nation to adopt a long-term national youth policy, based on a consensus of all the country’s social and political forces, aiming at creating now and for the next generation, a youth which is autonomous, supportive, responsible and committed. Such policy should be integrated: it should concern all youth NGOs in the country and all ministries in any government. Non-formal education youth movements can and should contribute to formulating and implementing such national youth policies. Similar conclusions have been reached by such important meetings as the “World Youth Forum of the UN System” (Braga, Portugal, August 1998), the “World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth” (Lisbon, August 1998), and in documents produced by UNESCO and the Commonwealth Youth Forum. There is a growing awareness, worldwide, of the urgency for governments to conceive, adopt and implement - together with civil society and youth movements - such long-term policies that will shape, through youth, the future of their nation and, indeed, of our planet. This working document takes and integrates these thoughts with our own present thinking, as non-formal education youth organisations’ leaders, on how this increased awareness can and should become a stronger reality at national, regional and world level. This is in no way a final word; but we hope that it may stimulate thought and action as a “mover” for youth, for education and for long-term policies related to both. Meanwhile, comments to this text are welcome from both within and outside our movements.

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