Saturday 17h March
Most of us were still arriving to Brasilia but the work had already started. So… what was going on?
The most important part for us, and probably for you as well is that the Youth Forum had started. The organization of the 8TH World Water Forum for the first time had given room for an official Youth Forum previous to the actual Forum. The whole forum was mostly conducted by Asma Bachikh, president of the Word Youth Parliament for Water.
In a nutshell this is a bit of what happened:
The role of youth in the achievement of SDG 6
With a session of approximately 50 participants, speakers from World Youth Parliament for Water (WYPW), Water Youth Network (WYN) and UNESCO, engaged youth on their roles towards the achievement of SDG 6. This was done through presentations and group discussions.
The participants were divided into groups and were requested to discuss their extent of knowledge about SDG 6. Later, presentations were made on how youth can track the progress made by individual countries in achieving SDG 6. Furthermore, available tools for tracking the progress were outlined during the presentations.
It was at all moments highlighted that youth have a crucial role in monitoring the progress made by their countries in achieving SDG6. The following were some of the tools that can be used in monitoring and tracking the progress of the SDG6
a. Online SDG 6 tracking tools
b. Youth-driven Knowledge in Water (You Know) and Water Youth Network (WYN) Platforms
c. Water Information Network System (WINS)
d. World Cafe
During the session, the participants were requested to discuss the following:
a. Opportunities that on-line tools offer to further engage the youths in SDG6
b. Available offline alternatives for SDG6 youth engagement
c. What the Youths need to lead in SDG6 achievement
The outcome of the group discussion were:
a. The youth have the following online opportunities at their disposal
– Open Source online courses
– Social Media platforms e.g. Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter
b. There are also many off-line alternatives at their disposal to use in achieving the SDG6:
– Establishment of Global Youth Network chapters in Universities around the world
– Communication campaigns
– Inclusion of SDG6 in school curriculum at some level
– Establishment of Water related competitions
– Volunteering in water related campaigns/projects
c. Finally, the group discussions indicated that the youths need the following in order to effectively lead in the SDG6 achievement
– Financial and Technical support
– Effective Networking
Appointing the Drafting Committee for the Youth Declaration
The main outcome of the Youth Forum is the YOUTH DECLARATION; this is a document that gathers all the issues to be addressed and to be included in the final declaration of the World Water Forum. However, this time all youth present at the Youth Forum decided that more than a “declaration” it is a CALL FOR ACTION, because in this short document what was intended to be stated was a series of concrete actions to be accomplished during the following 3 year journey to the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal.
The committee is formed of 6 young people and it was decided that each Youth Organisation present at the forum will be appointing a representative. Also the re was an election of which one of these youth representatives will get to present the final declaration at the High Level Panel at the end of the World Water Forum and the winner was Vincy Abraham form WYN.
If you want to see the outcome of the declaration, go to the summary of March 18th, the last day of the Youth Forum.
The Youth Forum was inside the Citizen’s village, which is a part of the World Water forum open to all participants and also general public. In this venue there were going on contemporaneously performances, children and educational activities, civil society meetings and many other interesting water actions to make the forum more inclusive not only for the water sector people, but to all people in general; because water is everybody’s business.