Making the #Case4Space for Asia-Pacific Youth: UNESCO joins UNDP, UNFPA and partners in Regional Roundtable
The majority of the world’s youth call Asia-Pacific home – some 700 million young people with the potential to be the change-makers, innovators and leaders this region needs to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). And yet that potential will go untapped unless young people are given the civic space they need – both offline and online – to effect positive change.
From 30 November to 2 December, UNESCO is co-hosting, “Youth at the Heart of the 2030 Agenda: The Case for Space,” a regional roundtable that will focus on strengthening these spaces for young people and civil society organizations working toward sustainable development.
UNESCO will join UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCAP, Restless Development and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) to host the three-day regional roundtable, which will bring together 200 participants, including more than 100 youth delegates, comprising community activists, members of civil society organizations and the private sector, development partners and young journalists.
The youth leaders will be joined by UN, NGO and corporate representatives to discuss youth participation in the region, identifying challenges and sharing success stories in expanding youth civic space in the region.
Civic space is where people can freely exercise their basic civil rights, such as the right to information, freedom of expression, or freedom of assembly and association. Without adequate civic space, members of society are limited in their ability to take action to advance socially-relevant goals.
Among the topics to be discussed during the roundtable from an Asia-Pacific perspective will be: youth and their role in implementing the SDGs; youth grassroots campaigns; online freedoms and safety in Asia-Pacific; inclusive civic spaces; urbanization, privatization and securitization and their role on youth civic engagement.
As the only UN agency with a mandate to “promote the free flow of ideas by word and image,” UNESCO is committed to promoting freedom of expression offline and online by supporting the work of journalists and encouraging young people’s participation in and through the media as well as through media and information literacy programmes. All of these efforts are aimed at ensuring that youth can engage as active digital citizens, which is also an aim at the heart of the Case for Space Roundtable.
UNESCO Bangkok will also be coordinating a Youth Newsroom as part of the Case for Space forum, bringing together 12 young journalists and journalism students from throughout the region. Newsroom participants will work with experienced journalists and communication specialists to develop articles and multimedia content tied to the conference as well as feature pieces related to issues of civic space in their own communities. These stories will be shared on the conference website (http://www.case4space.org/newsroom) as well as on UNESCO Bangkok’s website and social media channels.
For more, visit: Case4Space.org
Follow the discussion using the hashtags: #Case4Space #WeAre2030 #Youth2030