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European Youth Forum and International opportunities

Interculturalism to Boost Development at 4th Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilisations, in Doha, Qatar from 10-14 December. NYCI's Elaine Mahon is part of a European delegation at the event.  Follow us on Twitter to stay informed. Read more..


The European Youth Forum (YFJ) is an independent, democratic, youth-led platform, representing 98 National Youth Councils and International Youth Organisations. The YFJ works to empower young people to participate actively in society to improve their own lives, by representing and advocating their needs and interests and those of their organisations towards the European Institutions, the Council of Europe and the United Nations. NYCI is a member of the European Youth Forum. More information is available from the NYCI International Officer or on International Opportunities via the NYCI site.

In December 2011, Elaine Mahon (NYCI's development education project officer) travelled to Doha for the 4th annual forum of the UN Alliance for Civilisations as part of the European Youth Forum's Delegation.


UN Alliance of Civilisations, 4th Annual Forum, Doha (Qatar) 11-13 December

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) aims to improve understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions. It also helps to counter the forces that fuel polarisation and extremism.

The UNAOC was established in 2005, at the initiative of the Governments of Spain and Turkey, under the auspices of the United Nations.

The 4th annual forum in Doha with the theme 'Intercultural Dialogue to Boost Development', and had 3 main areas of focus:

  • How Does Cultural Diversity Matter to Development? The missing link
  • Promoting Trust and Tolerance to Advance Development Goals
  • New Strategies for Intercultural Dialogue, Understanding & Cooperation

The forum was preceded with a youth preparatory event on 10 December in order for almost 400 youth from over 100 countries to discuss the content of the Forum and set forward recommendations for the Heads of State and Government attending the Forum.

UNAOC Youth Programme

The long-term vision of the UNAOC Youth Programming is that at all levels of action and decision-making, youth are seen as key actors and stakeholders in efforts to foster cross-cultural understanding. The  UNAOC has a Youth Advisory Committee (European representative of EYF is Christoffer Grønstad) whose role of the Youth Advisory Committee is to support the development and implementation of the UNAOC Youth Programming, conduct outreach in their respective locations to promote and enhance the work of the UNAOC, attract new partners (e.g. for the Global Youth Movement for the UNAOC), and contribute to the content of the Youth Website .

The UNAOC Youth Website provides a central point of reference for youth interested in advancing cross-cultural understanding. This website is a place where youth are able to discuss issues and seek resources that can help them find their own unique ways to contribute to the development of inclusive societies.

Youth Solidarity Fund

The Youth Solidarity Fund provides seed funding to outstanding youth-led initiatives that promote long-term constructive relationships between people from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. A new call is expected around March 2012. Keep an eye on the website!

Global Youth Movement

The Global Youth Movement for the Alliance of Civilizations is a platform aiming to highlight and recognize the strong message of peace and understanding set forth by youth in times where tensions and conflicts often threaten positive intercultural co-existence as well as to advance and support the mainstreaming of their voices and participation in UNAOC initiatives and messages.


Africa-Europe Youth Summit

From 26-28 November 2010, around 100 youth representatives from African and European youth organisations met in Tripoli, Libya for the II Africa-Europe Youth Summit. The Summit precedeed the Africa-EU Heads of State Summit.

Three years ago, in December 2007 in Lisbon, the I Africa-Europe Youth Summit took place attended by over 250 youth representative from European and African youth organisations, including representatives of the African Diaspora living in Europe, which identified the main priorities for the Euro-African cooperation. On Wednesday 1 December, youth organisations came together again to evaluate the process and design the future steps forward.

In the Tripoli Declaration, African and European youth organisations urge governments to support the Africa-Europe Youth Cooperation, removing visa barriers for youth and students exchanges, creating training opportunities for youth entrepreneurship especially in the field of Fair Trade, increasing youth participation to ensure a strong youth dimension in policies and programmes concerning migration, climate change and employment.