January 31, 2017  |  

ECOSOC Youth Forum Live!

As you might probably know already – these days a unique event is taking place at the UN headquarters in New York called ECOSOC Youth Forum. It is one of the most exciting events UN organizes on the topic of youth empowerment and  sustainable development goals and YMCA plays an important role at it. 
Just this day more than 20 young people – World YMCA representatives – have joined the forum. It was a very exciting day for us, and for many it was not only the first visit to the impressive grounds of UN headquarters but also to the Big Apple itself.
As we walked down the hallways decorated with paintings of historical events and symbols of piece and harmony, hallways world’s leaders have walked down just moments before us, and as we took our seats in the Trusteeship Chamber along the representatives of nations and world’s organisations it daunted on me – we are making history.
You see, historically speaking never before has youth been involved so deeply and represented so well as it was today and involved in decision making at such a high level. Such progress was a result of many years and efforts of advocacy invested by NGOs including World YMCA. We couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of gratitude for this opportunity, a chance to take a seat at the table. 
However, it is clear that a lot remains to be done and we have just gotten started.
All the more we feel motivated to pass along our messages to everyone at the forum to make sure we speed up the process and let everyone know just how crucial it is to include youth in formal decision making. After all, the youth of today are the future and no long-term decision related to agenda 2030 should be made without them. Let’s make that clear to everyone, ECOSOC friends, as we start another eventful day at the UN.
Martina Vitezova, YMCA Serbia

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