Since we launched the call for applications for the UN Advocacy Group this February, the team has been working intensely. The journey began with a highly successful visit to the ECOSOC Youth Forum at the United Nations in New York City. The group then started laying the groundwork for a sustainable policy and advocacy framework at the World YMCA level, better positioning the Movement to empower young people worldwide.
Here’s what happened so far:
> Planning and training meeting at Frost Valley YMCA (USA), where we met each other, learned from each other and agreed on a work plan for 2019;
> Intense and highly visible participation at the ECOSOC Youth Forum 2019 with a delegation including World YMCA Secretary General Carlos Madjri Sanvee, 10 UN Advocacy Group members, and eight one-time participants from YMCAs around the world;
> Contributed to new partnership between the UN Youth Envoy and World YMCA;
> The UN Advocacy Group started working in its Sub-Groups on Advocacy Priorities, Policy Framework and YMCA175 planning;
> Preparation for the delegation representing World YMCA at the ECOSOC High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York City in July 2019;
> Prepared and submitted a positioning statement to the High-Level Political Forum, highlighting the inclusiveness of the YMCA worldwide. You can read the statement here: https://www.ymca.int/world-ymca-submits-statement-to-the-united-nations/
> A Policy Framework Proposal internal regulation for World YMCA was created and is under internal review before being submitted to the Executive Committee and the Governance Sub-Committee for debate and approval.
What are our colleagues saying about their experience:
Ana Clara Marti (Uruguay) and Karla Contreras (Guatemala):
“Since the group was formed in February, and from all the activities that took place in New York, we have started a strong work together with Antonio Merino (Secretary General of YMCA Latin America and Caribbean) and Daniel Galán (Programmes and Projects Coordinator of YMCA Latin America and Caribbean). The objective is that our participation in the UN Advocacy Group is not only personal, but also represents all the movements in Latin America.
First, we are going to work with YGOR/Change Agents in an educational activity to connect the National Movements to the UN Advocacy Group. To achieve this, we will lead an online session to share what we are doing as a group, how the UN works and the 2030 Agenda, and also share the report we prepared after the ECOSOC Youth Forum.
Second, Antonio wants us to lead a small research group to work on the 2030 agenda and to collaborate with the SDG mapping within LACA. We agreed after the online session that we’re going to open a call for Change Agents in National Movements who might be interested in apply to be part of this research group.
Third, we were informed that LACA representatives are going to lead a session in the High Level Political Forum of the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA). This Forum is focusing on the 2030 Agenda and its specific impact in Latin America.”
Phillippa Lewis (United Kingdom):
“It’s been great to represent YMCA England and Wales on the UN Advocacy Group over the last few months. So far, the majority of our work has focused on building the infrastructure needed to make World YMCA’s advocacy work effective. We have created a draft policy framework to outline how the organisation’s policy is created and where responsibilities lie, and we have designed a piece of research that is designed to identify the advocacy priorities for the group. The research, to be conducted before and at YMCA175, is designed to give young people a say in the issues that most matter to them and make sure their voices are at the heart of YMCA’s work.
We have also been working to increase YMCA’s presence at the UN by making our voices heard at the ECOSOC Youth Forum and submitting an official statement for the High-Level Segment 2019 which had a strong message of inclusion and equal treatment for all young people.”
Sokthea Phay (United States):
“After attending the UN ECOSOC Youth Forum in April, I have worked with the UN Advocacy Group (UNAG) to prepare a high-level political statement for the UN High-Level Political Forum. I am also working to lead a workshop on “Sustainable Development Goals and Connecting the YMCAs to the UN” at YMCA175 in London. Recently, I was nominated to be one of four U.S delegates to represent the U.S. movement at the World YMCA Global Summit on Refugees and Migrants to be held in Baltimore, Maryland this October.”
Take part in our YMCA175 workshop
If you’re attending YMCA175, join us on August 7, 15:00 – 16:30, Room 2-3 ICC Capital Suite for a workshop entitled: “Let’s Explore the SDG Language: Connecting YMCAs to the UN”. You’ll have the opportunity to meet members of the UN Advocacy Group and find out more about how you can contribute.
The consultation to decide YMCA’s advocacy priorities is still open, so if you want your voice to be heard please complete our short survey.
Meet the members of the UN Advocacy Group
Find out more about YMCA175