BALI, 6 December 2012 — The Global Youth Forum concluded in Bali Thursday, marking the end of a three-day meeting that outlined the vision and priorities of young people around the world. The Forum convened over 600 youth leaders from more than 130 countries, as well as over 2,500 online delegates, who participated alongside representatives of governments, UN agencies, and non-governmental and private sector organizations at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center in Bali, Indonesia.
"This has been a groundbreaking engagement of young people around issues they have identified as key to their futures," said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. "This Forum has provided enormous insights into where the youth agenda stands twenty years after the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The world has changed dramatically since then, and so have young people. I have been inspired by their passion and their vision for their future, and I am determined that UNFPA will continue to lead the UN system in ensuring that this vision is fully incorporated into the discussions and design of the next development agenda."
Co-hosted by UNFPA and the Government of Indonesia, the Global Youth Forum is part of a UN-mandated review of progress on the goals set out in the 1994 ICPD Programme of Action. The Forum is the first of three thematic meetings to review progress and produce recommendations. The two other global meetings, slated for 2013, will focus on human rights and women’s health, respectively.
The Global Youth Forum produced a set of recommendations that articulate young people’s development priorities and address five critical areas in the transition of youth to adulthood: staying healthy; comprehensive education; decent work; families, youth rights, well-being, including sexuality; and leadership and meaningful participation.
The recommendations are widely expected to feed into discussions on UN development goals post-2015, and are targeted for inclusion in a report by the UN Secretary-General to a special session of the General Assembly, scheduled for 2014, that will review progress on the ICPD Programme of Action.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed youth as the "front line of change around the world" in a special message for the Global Youth Forum’s opening ceremony delivered by UN Resident Coordinator in Indonesia El-Mostafa Benlamlih. Mr. Ban Ki-moon added that empowering youth "is one of my top priorities for the coming five years."
Celebrated Indonesian singer Agnes Monica also addressed the Forum’s opening ceremony. "If it was created, it was once not there," Monica declared, underscoring young people’s unique capacity to envision and effect change. Monica called upon her peers to not only to dream, but fulfill their vision. "Live up to your expectations, and do more than what it takes to make it happen," Monica encouraged.
The Forum was officially opened by Indonesian Coordinating Minister of People’s Welfare Dr. Agung Laksono, joined by Minister of Health Dr. Nafsiah Mboi and Minister Youth and Sport Dr. Andi Alfian Mallarangeng.
Five plenary sessions framed each of the Forum’s themes through a panel discussion, followed by fifteen smaller, concurrently-running World Café sessions in which participants discussed and debated development priorities in greater detail. Each World Café session reached consensus on a set of recommendations subsequently incorporated into the meeting’s final outcome document.
"It is our hope that this Forum, in addition to producing substantive recommendations, will also generate the momentum for ongoing youth engagement globally, regionally and nationally to support and advance the aspirations of young people and their communities in the post-2015 agenda," explained Kwabena Osei-Danquah, Executive Coordinator of the ICPD Secretariat.
The Global Youth Forum concluded with a concert headlined by Agnes Monica, DJ Avicii of Sweden and DJ Michael Moran of Indonesia that included a special appearance by American music producer Timbaland.