We are honoured to announce that Restless Development was elected as one of four Organising Partners in September 2014 of the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY). Having supported young people to engage and influence policy-making spaces at the highest level, this is an exciting opportunity for us to strengthen the voices of young people in the official United Nations space for children and young people.
What is the MGCY?
The MGCY acts as a bridge between children and youth and the officials in the UN system. The group is one of the nine so-called Major Groups that represent civil society at the United Nations. The MGCY ensures that young people have the right to attend and intervene in official meetings, have access to and submit information, make recommendations and organise events and meetings.
The MGCY’s vision is the meaningful participation of children and youth and their organisations, networks and committees at all levels – local to regional and international – in decision-making on sustainable development. The group sees children and youth designing, implementing and reviewing sustainable development policies.
Who is part of the MGCY?
Any individual below the age of 30 as well as youth-led and youth-focused organisations can be part of the MGCY. The MGCY is a self-organized space that strives to represent the diversity and enable the inclusion of all children and young people, taking into account region, geography, gender, dis/ability and other marginalised groups.
How does the MGCY work?
The group is facilitated by regular calls and works through internal and external working groups that focus on different topics, including the Post2015 agenda, sustainable consumption, sustainable housing and urban development, disaster risk reduction and other UN-related processes. The whole group is facilitated by Organizing Partners who support the MGCY’s work and liaise between the group and UN bodies. Restless Development is one of the current four Organizing Partners and will be in post until late 2016.
Why is Restless Development an Organizing Partner of the MGCY?
- We believe that young people must be at the forefront of change. In order to influence policy and be leaders in development, young people must be able to access spaces and engage with decision-makers and groups that are accountable to them.
- We have experience of working and meaningfully engaging with a diversity of young people in policy and influencing spaces and support the MGCY to strengthen their advocacy efforts at the UN as well as the national level.
- We are well connected with many global youth and CSO networks, enabling us to support knowledge and opportunity sharing amongst a wide and diverse range of young people.
What kind of activities are the MGCY currently working on?
To point out a few examples:
- The MGCY just recently participated in the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, facilitating the participation of 200 young people.
- The MGCY supports young advocates in taking part in the ongoing intergovernmental negotiations on the Post2015 agenda. The group supports speakers, drafts replies to official UN publications and governmental statements and directly engages with representatives of UN missions to include youth priorities in the SDG framework.
- The MGCY regularly organises so-called Youth Blasts prior to Un meetings and events. During those meetings young people attending the events are brought together to collaborate, exchange information and set objectives.
There are many other things happening, join us to find out more and become part of our growing group. If you are interested in any of the above, join us to shape what sustainable development will and should look like!
You can find out more about the MGCY’s work and join here:
For more information on Restless Development’s involvement with the MGCY, please contact our Advocacy and Networks Coordinator, Miriam Freudenberg (Miriam@restlessdevelopment.org)