UNV holds the first Regional Youth Volunteering Forum and opens dialogue on youth volunteering in the Arab region

28 Apr 2014

Marrakesh, Morocco – The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is organizing the first Regional Youth Volunteering Forum, in Marrakesh, on 29 and 30 April, bringing together partners from the public sphere, civil society and youth to strengthen the dialogue on youth volunteering in the Arab region.

Under the UNV-led regional project Arab Youth Volunteering for a Better Future, the flagship of the global UN Youth Volunteers Programme, this forum gathers representatives from a variety of fields to provide a space for exchange of experiences and best practices and gain a better understanding of the role of youth volunteerism in development and civic engagement in the Arab states.

The forum is an opportunity to establish and strengthen partnerships among regional and international participants, while setting the grounds for future pragmatic interventions. This will mark the start of a more systematic dialogue and exchange regarding youth volunteerism in the Arab region.

The Regional Youth Volunteering Forum focuses on identifying barriers that impede the active participation of youth in development and providing practical recommendations on the best way to jointly address these issues.

Youth have the energy and skills to contribute to the achievement of local and global development goals. The needs and aspirations of youth in Arab states, in terms of volunteerism, were identified during a series of regional and national consultations in 2012, organized by UNV.

The conclusions and recommendations of the consultations (available in the National Consultations: Country Findings Report) called for a more holistic and collaborative approach to youth volunteerism, including through the establishment of an enabling environment for young people to contribute to the development of their countries.

According to the report, this environment must be achieved by, among other things, enhancing knowledge leadership and research, consolidating communities of practice and focusing on national policies of youth volunteerism. The forum contributes to achieving these goals and marks a milestone for the regional dialogue on youth and volunteerism.

Arab Youth Volunteering for a Better Future is a UNV-led regional project and is part of the UN Youth Volunteers Programme, which aims to facilitate the engagement of youth in global peace and sustainable human development through volunteerism, bringing the voice of youth into the development discourse and helping young people to realize their full social, economic and human potential.

It supports the UN Secretary General’s Five Year Action Agenda, in which he highlights the importance of working with and for young people, and is part of UNV’s growing efforts to engage young volunteers. The project is currently implemented in five countries: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen.

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation.

Contact Information

Ana Polanco: ana.polanco@undp.org
(+212 (0)5 37 63 31 85 / +212 (0)617751792)
or
Houda Areski: houda.areski@undp.org
(+212 (0)537 633 187)