9.3 Exchanges between young people and policy-makers on global issues
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This section provides information on the formal and informal opportunities given to young people to exchange views on global issues with national and international policy-makers. In Denmark, young people have a number of formal opportunities to exchange views with policy-makers at domestic and international levels.
The current national strategy for development cooperation ‘The World We Share’ emphasises the role of young people as active citizens and agents of positive change, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlights youth as an important priority in its work. A key principle for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is actively promoting and implementing development with, by and for youth.
Young people constitute an enormous development potential, and the meaningful inclusion and participation of the youth are key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. That is why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs developed programme management tools and guidance notes for increased youth mainstreaming. The tools and guidance notes offer inspiration when designing, implementing and evaluating development engagements. The Ministry also has an appointed Global Youth Advisor, who supports the work of mainstreaming youth on policy and implementation levels.
At the domestic level, young people have a number of consultation opportunities.
Advisory Council for development policy
Since 2017, the Danish Youth Council has been offered a seat in the Minister for Development Cooperation’s (now Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate policy) Advisory Council for development policy. The Council for Development Policy provides strategic advice to the Minister for Development Cooperation (now Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate policy) regarding the preparation and implementation of Danish development cooperation. The Council discusses and recommends draft projects, programmes, strategic frameworks and organisational strategies for Denmark’s cooperation with multilateral organisations. The Council advises the Minister on bilateral projects and programmes with a budget above 39 million DKK and multilateral organisation strategies with a budget above 10 million DKK. The council members are appointed by the Minister.
Since 2017, the Danish Youth Council has had a seat in the 2030-Panel, an advisory body established by the Danish Parliament’s All Party Coalition for the Sustainable Development Goals called the 2030-Network.The 2030-Panel supports the political work of the 2030-Network through sharing of knowledge, analysis and sparring. The aim of the panel’s advisory approach is to provide a more direct route to possible options and solutions that position the 2030-Network to act faster on knowledge from an influential cross-section of industries and SDG practitioners. The Panel also works to promote the SDG agenda through interaction with ministers and civil servants to influence political SDG action plans.
In December 2019, the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities established the Youth Climate Council.
The voice of young people is important in the climate debate. Young people must help to ensure a sustainable future. The purpose of the Youth Climate Council is to give young people a voice and engage them in the policy-making process that will help tackle the growing challenges of global climate change.
The Youth Climate Council works, among other things, to keep the global temperature increase below 1.5°C, in line with the recommendations from IPCC. Through its work, the Council aims to contribute to keeping the temperature increase below 1.5°C through dialogue with institutions and young people in order to shed light on young people’s perspectives on climate policy and raise awareness on climate issues.
The Youth Climate Council develops recommendations and provides input to the minister on future climate solutions twice a year. The Council has previously presented recommendations on, e.g., the energy sector, sustainable agriculture, the North Sea, etc.
Furthermore, the Youth Climate Council is active in the public climate debate and in a range of different national and international climate-related events.
The Youth Climate Council consists of 14 members aged 18 to 29 years. The members are appointed for a two-year period. They come from all parts of Denmark, from different fields of study, and they represent different approaches to the climate challenge.
The composition of the Council is as follows:
- 5 members are appointed by Danish youth organisations
- 7 members are appointed on the basis of an open application process
- 2 members are appointed by two organisations from the Danish trade-union movement
The Council appoints a chairperson who is appointed for a two-year period.
The World We Share
As part of the drafting process of the new development strategy ‘The World We Share’, the Minister for Development Cooperation (now Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate policy) hosted a range of open hearings to ensure input from stakeholders, including Danish youth organisations.
International Youth Panel
In 2021, the Minister for Development Cooperation (now Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate policy) established an International Youth Panel to offer input and inspiration on Denmark’s development cooperation directly to the Minister. The International Youth Panel consists of six Danish members and eight international members.
Since 1972, Denmark has appointed one youth delegate to participate in the Danish official delegation to the United Nations General Assembly and various functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council. The programme was extended in 2018 and 2020, and the total number of UN youth delegates organised by DUF is eight. The Danish delegates participate in the UN and other multinational forums such as COP (the UN climate change conference), the ILO (International Labour Organization) and the WHO (World Health Organization). The delegates work within four overarching themes:
- Climate and environment
- Equal rights/gender equality and sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
- Democracy and partnerships
- Technical and vocational education and job creation
The delegates are nominated by children and youth organisations and appointed by DUF.
In 2021, the delegates participated in ten multilateral forums where they represented the Danish youth, and for the first time, the delegates were involved in the making of a UN youth resolution.
DUF also appoints two EU youth delegates to represent the Danish youth at the EU’s youth conferences.