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    For information only - not an official document.
    Press Release No: UNIS/SOC/344
    Release Date: 11 August 2000
    United Nations Awards to Young People's Organizations Highlight
    First International Youth Day

     

    PANAMA CITY, 7 August -- Eight Latin American and Caribbean youth and youth-related organizations have received United Nations World Youth Awards, as part of preparations for the first International Youth Day (12 August).

    One of the major accomplishments of the Latin American Youth Forum (FLAJ) has been to draft and advocate to Governments in the region the adoption of a Latin American Youth Rights Charter.  The FLAJ has also promoted other aspects of the World Progamme of Action for Youth concerning the rights of youth, national youth policy and youth participation.  Created in 1993 in Pueblo, Mexico, FLAJ has become the major regional youth non-governmental organization (NGO) platform for national NGO youth councils as well as for regional youth NGOs in Latin America. 

    Established in 1966 in Havana, Cuba, the Latin American and Caribbean Student Federation (OCLAE) has become the major regional student NGO platform in the region.  One of its main priorities has been to advocate the elimination of illiteracy and the democratization of education.  The OCLAE convenes the biennial Latin American and Caribbean Congress of Students (CLAE) and has participated in the past two sessions of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System as well as the first session of the Latin American and Caribbean Youth Forum of the United Nations System in June 1998 in Santiago, Chile. 

    Established in 1986, with a regional headquarters in Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Caribbean Federation of Youth (CFY) has become the major youth NGO platform for national non-governmental youth councils and organizations in the Caribbean.  Its major priorities have been the problem of drug abuse among Caribbean youth; employment promotion; and adolescent heath matters, including teen pregnancy and HIV/AIDS.  The CFY organizes its regional assemblies every two years and is currently studying ways to revise its constitution to include regional youth organizations as CFY members. 

    Since its founding in 1997 in Panama City, the Panama National Youth Council (CNJP) has distinguished itself as an active national youth NGO platform, with member youth and student organizations in Panama City as well as in other cities and communities.  As a follow-up of the  third session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System, and in order to implement the Braga Youth Action Plan adopted by the Forum, the CNJP formulated a draft National Youth Pact in partnership with the Ministry of Youth of the Government and the youth-related agencies of the United Nations system in Panama, especially coordinated by the country office of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).  As a follow-up, the CNJP in cooperation with the Ministry of Youth of the Government and the UNFPA, held youth consultations in all provinces of the nation (“Cabildos”, or community action gatherings) to obtain the views of youth on the priority issues of the United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth in 1999-2000.  A delegation was formed of youth leaders from each of the provinces and they presented their conclusions to the President of the Republic in 2000.

    Two regional youth-related intergovernmental organizations also received  United Nations World Youth Awards. 

    The Ibero-American Youth Organization (OIJ) has pioneered the development of national youth policies and programmes in this region, especially by convening biennial conferences of ministers responsible for youth and numerous subregional seminars and workshop to strengthen the capacity of Governments in this field.

    The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has likewise pioneered in the youth development field, being an important source of funding for technical cooperation projects to promote youth development skills in this region.  It coordinates and services the work of the Inter-American Working Group on Youth Development, and has sponsored numerous regional youth meetings, such as the New Orleans Youth Summit in 2000. 

    The Ministry Responsible for Youth of the Government of Panama and the UNFPA also received awards.

    The United Nations World Youth Awards were presented  at the opening of the second session of the Latin American and Caribbean Youth Forum of the United Nations System,  which was held in conjunction with the tenth session of the Ibero-American Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth  (Panama City, Panama,  20-21 July 2000).  The Latin American and Caribbean Youth Forum is one of five United Nations regional youth forums being held in 2000-2001 to follow up the third session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System and to plan for the fourth session of the Forum. 

    The United Nations World Youth Awards are given for notable achievement in implementing the United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond.  The Awards were presented in Panama City by the Youth Unit of the Division for Social Policy and Development, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

    For more information, contact the Development and Human Rights Section, Department of Public Information, tel:  (212) 963-1742, fax:  212-963-1186, or the Youth Unit, Department of Economic and Social Affairs,  tel:  212-963-1380; fax: 212-963-3062.

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