Cover Image
close this bookContributions of Youth to the Implementation of the Habitat Agenda (HABITAT, 1999, 137 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentFOREWORD
View the documentSUMMARY
View the document1.1.2 HABITAT AGENDA AND YOUTH
close this folder1.2.2 GENERAL EVALUATION
View the document(introduction...)
View the documenta) Common issues
View the documentb) Priorities for action
View the documentc) Recommendations to Youth for Habitat International Network (YFHIN)
View the document1.3.1 STRATEGIES FOR FUTURE
close this folderPART II: NATIONAL REPORTS
View the documentII.1 BRAZIL
View the documentII.2 COLOMBIA
View the documentII.3 INDIA
View the documentII.4 KENYA
View the documentII.5 PAKISTAN
View the documentII.6 SENEGAL
View the documentII.7 TURKEY


Despite the fact that young people are the dynamic and enthusiastic segment of society, they have become vulnerable due to the immense population growth in many regions of the world, unresponsive policies and programmes at the national and local levels and lack of opportunities where they can demonstrate their potential. Planning for youth is unfortunately not an integral component of national development programmes in most countries. This situation is aggravated by insufficient inter-institutional co-ordination, lack of basic data and research, limited financial resources allocated to youth issues and lack of training. Youth should therefore strive to improve these policies and strategies particularly related to the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and Agenda 21, as specifically elaborated in paragraph 120(a) of the Habitat Agenda. Principle 25 of the Rio Declaration and paragraph 120(b) of the Habitat Agenda, further address enabling of youth to play an active and creative role in building sustainable communities. Bearing in mind paragraph 182(n) of the Habitat Agenda, youth should be accepted as a key partner in the implementation processes of all relevant activities.

Box. 2

Salient Features of the Draft New Youth Policy in India

The new draft youth policy calls for an integrated approach to youth development as youth development is considered a multi-sectoral concept. It speaks about involving the youth in the process of decision making and implementation. Apart from these, it also defines the privileges and responsibilities of youth.

The major objectives of the new policy are to provide the youth with proper educational and employment opportunities; to give access to all relevant information, create adequate sports and other recreational facilities; to create among the youth awareness about Indian history, culture and heritage and to inculcate a scientific temper in them. The draft policy has set out four thrust areas namely: Youth Empowerment, Gender Justice, Inter-spectral Approach and an Information and Research Network.

The Policy recognises Education, Training, Employment and Health as the key sectors of concern for youth, and accords high priority to certain categories of youth such as, youth with disabilities, rural youth, unemployed youth and street children. Besides Education, Employment, and Health, the policy also focuses on Adolescent Health, AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Nutrition, Environment, Sports, Recreation and Leisure, Art and Culture, Gender Justice, Science and Technology, Civics issues and Citizenship

The Habitat II Conference and its preparatory process constituted excellent opportunities for youth to demonstrate their value as idealistic and visionary, yet active and energetic members of the society. Within this participatory process that took place at the preparatory stages of the Habitat II Conference and the Conference itself, Youth for Habitat International Network (YFHIN) has designed its objectives to contribute to the implementation of the Habitat Agenda as: awareness raising about Habitat Agenda and Agenda 21 (in addition to the global agendas related to youth); to promote youth perspectives in the implementation of these initiatives at the international, regional, national and local levels; to facilitate information exchange between youth organizations; to develop and implement projects related to human settlements development through mobilizing the potential of youth; to provide training and formulating models for institutionalization of youth approaches and; to strengthen international co-operation on youth.

The emphasis on the concepts of sustainability, partnership, transparency, especially during the last decade of the century, has strengthened the potential role of youth in the processes for human settlements development. The themes of sustainable development and social integration have gained new momentum within the setting forth of the “human settlements development” agenda. The Youth for Habitat approach, which has gradually developed during this period, has been the first example where youth potential was mobilized within an approach of forming a network in improving living conditions in cities.

One of the recent examples of replication of the Youth for Habitat approach was the launching of the youth network for the follow up process of the International Conference on Population and Development which was convened in Cairo in 1994, where young people were decisive about taking concrete actions for their own future. This example is quite important and satisfactory as it signifies the need for integration of the efforts of Youth in the follow up process of the global conferences.

Box. 3

Local Agenda 21 Project in Turkey

Local Agenda 21 project is implemented by UNDP-Turkey and IULA-EMME (International Union of Local Authorities-Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East branch) in order to develop local agendas in different cities in Turkey. With a subcontract signed in October 1997, Youth Association for Habitat and Agenda 21 has started to coordinate youth activities within the scope of the project. The duration of the project was recently extended to the end of 2001 and the number of cities involved increased to 50.

Youth activities within the scope of this project can be summarized in 3 categories; networking, promotion of local youth councils and local Youth Centres. The youth of the cities that are involved in the project are informed about Youth For Habitat activities and encouraged to initiate civil platforms in their local communities for the improvement of their cities. After the establishment of a civil youth platform, the activities are focused on establishment of local Youth Council and Youth Centres.

As of 1999, Youth Councils in 23 cities have been established. Their sustainability, ability to reach the local youth and other civil society organizations however still needs improvement. Moreover, since there is no legal framework for the status of such mechanisms, their effect on policy making and implementation depends on the willingness of involved youth to take responsibility and the authorities’ willingness to share power with youth.

Replication of the youth institutionalized activities in Turkey in the Balkan region is another indicator of the success of Youth for Habitat approach. As a part of the international plan of action launched in the Earth Summit in 1992 a project entitled the “Enhancement and Promotion of Local Agenda 21s” was commenced in Turkey in 1997. The youth component of this local democratization project has been carried out by Youth Association for Habitat and Agenda 21. The success of the youth activism in this project which aims at establishing local youth councils and local youth centres has been considered as a best practice by UNCHS (Habitat) and encouraged Romania, Bulgaria and Moldavia to include the youth component in the execution of the Local Agenda 21 Projects.