9.7 Current debates and reforms
The World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth 2019 and Youth Forum “Lisboa+21” took place in Lisbon, in june, twenty-one years after the 1st World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, organized by the Portuguese Government in collaboration with UN-System partners in 1998.
The Conference and Forum were organized by the Portuguese Government and the Portuguese National Youth Council, with the endorsement of the United Nations Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, ILO (International Labour Organization), UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) and UN DESA (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs). The Conference and Forum counted with the participation of almost one hundred national delegations from all over the world and the presence of representatives of national and international organizations (both governmental and non-governmental), as observer, in a total of more than eight hundred presences. ,
An Interactive Session took place in which Ministers and Youth Representatives shared their considerations on the previous discussions and exchanged views on what should be the priorities to improve Youth Policies and Programmes in the framework of the SDGs. Delegations had the opportunity to intervene for 2 minutes shared between the Head of Delegation and the Young Delegate, in a co-management model. The Lisboa+21 Declaration is the main outcome of this event, composed of a set of 19 commitments based on cross-cutting topics that renewed the 1998 Lisbon Declaration’s commitments, in the framework of the 2030 Agenda, such as Human rights of youth in all their diversity, No one left behind, Meaningful and effective youth participation, Young women and girls, Education and Empowerment, Sustainability: social, economic, environmental.
The fundamental goal of producing and agreeing on a renewed policy document with an international impact on youth was achieved with the adoption of the Lisboa+21 Declaration, which is a result of an intense work and collaboration, but we stress the importance of making efforts to actively coordinate action for the realisation of the 19 commitments that were established.
The 8th Cycle of the EU Youth Dialogue started at the1st of July 2020 and will run to 31st December 2021 under the Trio Presidency of Germany - Portugal – Slovenia. The topic of the 8th cycle is Youth Goal #9 “Space and Participation for All” under the title “Europe for YOUth - YOUth for Europe: Space for Democracy and Participation”.
Throughout the process, participants will look for concrete recommendations on how to implement Youth Goal #9 at the European, national, regional and local levels. It will start with the German Presidency (2nd semester 2020), will continue with the Portuguese Presidency (1st semester 2021) and will be closed with the Slovenian Presidency (2nd semester 2021). Concrete measures of implementation and political demands at all levels are the expected outcomes of this cycle.