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Young, active and setting the agenda

Sunday 10 November 2013

Cruz Roja Chile representative Natalia Cruz passionately addresses the big issues at the Global Youth Conference. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Louise Cooper.

More than 200 Red Cross Red Crescent youth leaders from all parts of the word are setting an agenda for a better world at the Global Youth Conference.

Millennium Development goals of the United Nations are set to be renewed after 2015 and youth leaders are working with the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and international humanitarian partners for the post 2015 agenda.

Youth leaders put forward key issues like violence prevention, overcoming the impacts of climate change, tackling poverty and providing accessible quality education as key areas that need urgent humanitarian action.

Key outcomes from the Global Youth Conference will inform the Red Cross Red Crescent General Assembly, which is meeting in Sydney this week. It is the first time that a Global Youth Conference has been held directly ahead of the major international meetings.

It is not all hard work, with many fun cultural activities linking the diverse people from more than 120 countries around the world.

A range of senior Red Cross Red Crescent leaders urged youth leaders to push and continue to set the agenda, work out solutions to major humanitarian issues and shape the humanitarian movement.

Arab youth leaders said that many of their national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies do not have safe access to provide humanitarian assistance in their countries. Resources are also a major issue, especially in Syria with the crisis. More than nine million Syrians need humanitarian assistance due to the conflict.

One speaker spoke passionately: "We're not just youth. We're not just social media experts. We're young people who want to change the world. That's how we should speak. We're changing the world and we should be proud of it."

Youth leaders have a goal for all national societies to have a national youth board member within the next two years. Some of the national societies still do not have a national youth board member and youth leaders said by the time of the next Global Youth Conference in two years time, it's vital that there are youth representatives from all the boards.

Australian Red Cross is hosting the Global Youth Conference, at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, ahead of other major international Red Cross and Red Crescent meetings, the General Assembly and the Council of Delegates. Young humanitarian leaders are in Sydney representing national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies from all parts of the globe.

Meet Chris Kwong from Australia and Abdullah Albunni from Syria, two young humanitarians making a world of difference, worlds apart.


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