Proposed by the Egyptian government as a multicultural exchange framework, the first edition of the World Youth Forum was held from 4th to 10th November 2017 in Sharm el Sheikh, called the city of tourism and peace. The initiative was attended by 3200 young people from all over the world and discussions focused on related development topics.
IMCS Pax Romana, was officially represented by 5 students (Sameh Kamel and Abdul from Egypt, Fandis Ngarang and Thompson Sabungan Silalahi from Indonesia, Carine from Lebanon and the International President Edouard Karoue). They formed the same delegation with the United Nations Major Group for Children and youth (UNMGCY), which is the UN-mandated platform to facilitate youth participation in the UN processes. This group was therefore the framework of action of IMCS Pax Romana during the forum in Egypt.
As a prelude to all official activities, a meeting with the Minister of Youth and Sport of Egypt was held at the Rixos Hotel on the morning of 05 November. The objective of this meeting was to introduce the UNMGCY to the Minister and analyze to what extent he could bring his experience to the organization of a future forum of this scope. It was also discussed the contribution that the UNMGCY could be for the Egyptian youth in terms of participation and capacity building within the framework of the united nations. The interaction with the minister and his team lasted nearly two hours and resulted in fruitful collaboration. Other meetings with the national authorities represented at the meeting will take place on the sidelines of the sessions scheduled for the Forum.
The opening ceremony of the evening of 05th November was attended by several heads of state and government. During this ceremony, it was privileged the interventions of young models who have rewarding experiences in various fields. These interventions were supplemented by official speeches, including that of the President of the Republic of Egypt. The ceremony was accompanied by a dinner hosted by the President of the Republic Abdel Fattah el-sisi. Other dinners will be offered to participants at the end of the scheduled daily sessions throughout the week.
The main topics of the forum range from peace issues to the crucial issue of intercultural dialogue, as well as topics related to technology, humanitarian art, tourism, sustainable development, etc. In short, it was widely stressed the need to include the dialogue of cultures as a part taking the conditions for achieving the SDGs. A detailed report outlining the quintessence of the presentations is being compiled by the UNMGCY delegation and will be made available. The participation of the delegation of the UNMGCY was noticed by the availability of speakers and the participation in the interviews as well as the animation of groups of reflections.
Interpersonal meetings have been a crucial part of this forum as they allow for new collaborations for bilateral initiatives. It was an opportunity for several young people to meet for the first time the national authorities of their country and to have physical contact with them.
To close the internal activities of the UNMGCY, a consultation was organized with about thirty young people to collect their views on migration (in the global sense of the term) and the challenges they see as a young local actor. These views will be compiled in the UNMGCY advocacy document for the preparation of the Global compact on Refugee following the New York Declaration (http://refugeesmigrants.un.org/declaration).
The President of the Egyptian Republic has promised to work for the organization of a second edition of the World Youth Forum. Hopefully a fruitfull evaluation of this forum for a second edition more successful.