United Nations Engagement

AFRICAN YOUTH MOVEMENT UNCTAD 14 POSITION PAPER

CALL FOR INPUT

“From decision to action: moving towards an inclusive and equitable global economic environment for trade and development”

  • Introduction

The African Youth Movement (AYM), established in 2015, is a Pan-Africanist action-oriented, social movement that strives for the development, active participation and leadership of African Youth in the fight for Social Justice.  We are committed and united young Africans who aim to change the reality of Africa by co-generating creative solutions.

AYM’s vision is to establish a firm foundation and vibrant platform of dialogue for African youth to transform Africa, to be the place where youth are able to achieve their rights to social justice and lead as primary actors across the continent. The organization is committed to utilizing Africa’s youth tenacity, capacity, and potentials at all levels, to connect, empower, and mobilize to collectively influence sustainable solutions across Africa.

AYM has contributed greatly in raising awareness on the contribution of youth in development issues through presentation on different platforms like the UN, TED, Skoll World Forum with one of their greatest campaigns #AfricaSmile Campaign which is aimed at celebrating Africa’s cultural diversity launched at Africa Day. AYM equally launched #ILoveMyContinent campaign during the International Day of Peace, to reaffirm the aspiration of African Youth for a better and secured future.

AYM has been accredited as a Civil Society Organization to attend the 14th session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 14).

This document will serve as a tool for members to be informed of UNCTAD 14 and contribute to the position that the organization will advance at the meeting. UNCTAD 14 will also serve as one of the events that are leading up to the AYM Congress to be held in December in Nairobi, where AYMers who will be present can meet up plus also recruit other potential members.

The information below has been garnered and compiled from the event’s websites to allow members to have an overview of the meeting. AYMers are therefore invited to send in their perspectives on any (if not all) aspects of the meeting to Stanley (gsnjoroge@gmail.com) on or before 5th July, 2016, for compilation before the meeting.

  • UNCTAD 14

From 17 to 22 July 2016, world leaders from the public and private sectors, academia and NGOs will meet again at UNCTAD 14 in Nairobi, Kenya, to agree on concrete steps for UNCTAD to take in support of the 2030 Agenda.

UNCTAD 14 will discuss the most appropriate means of delivering on the post-2015 development agenda, and will decide on UNCTAD’s programme of work. The week-long meeting will bring together Heads of State and Government, Ministers and other prominent representatives of business, civil society and academia to tackle global trade and economic development issues. The session will include ministerial debates, high-level round tables, thematic events, a World Investment Forum and a Civil Society Forum. The UNCTAD global conference takes place once every four years. UNCTAD is a subsidiary organ of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

UNCTAD 14 will be comprised of the following fora:

  • 17th – 20th July 2016 – World Leaders Summit and the 5th World Investment Forum
  • 15th – 16th July 2016 – 7th Commodities Forum,
  • 15th – 17th July 2016 – Civil Society Forum,
  • 15th – 17th July 2016 – Regional Group Meetings G77 Ministerial meeting,
  • 19th – 21st July 2016 – Youth Forum.
  • The World Leaders Summit and the World Investment Forum roundtables

The World Leaders Summit will provide an opportunity for Heads of State and Government to exchange views with the Business Leaders on the vision for investment in the context of sustainable development.

The World Investment Forum is a high-level, biennial, multi-stakeholder gathering designed to facilitate dialogue and action on the world’s key emerging investment-related challenges. Its mission is to provide a platform where a debate on “investment for development” can take place and ultimately to promote investment flows that contribute to sustainable and inclusive development. With its ties to UN member States, the World Investment Forum is able to bring together a broad coalition of investment stakeholders at the highest level who can influence the global investment landscape.

World Investment Forum 2016 will enable delegates to:

  • Engage with investment stakeholders to help shape an effective, inclusive and fair agenda for change,
  • Create strategic partnerships and expand your network,
  • Learn how you can be part of a global “New Deal”,
  • Discover what the changing development agenda means for your business.
  • Global Commodities Forum

UNCTAD will hold the 7th Global Commodities Forum on 15 and 16 July in Nairobi, as an integral part of UNCTAD 14.

The theme of the seventh GCF is “Slowdown in emerging economies: Implications for commodity-led development”, which responds to fundamental shifts underway on international markets, resulting from three intertwined shocks, namely:

  1. a growth slowdown and capital exodus from emerging economies;
  2. a generalized crash in commodities prices; and
  3. a steady appreciation in value of the US dollar (USD).

The 2016 GCF will discuss the current situation in emerging economies by way of introduction, to then focus on its implications for commodity-dependent developing countries (CDDCs) and on their commodity-led development strategies, reliant as they are on exports to emerging economies.

The 2016 GCF will contribute to the following overall objectives:

  • Increased understanding among policy makers about the factors in the boom-to-bust trajectory of commodities markets from 2011-2015.
  • A road map for policy makers in CDDCs to undertake necessary adjustments to their commodities sectors and to their monetary and fiscal policies, to align them with a rebalanced global economy.
  • Identification of opportunities for CDDCs to develop new export markets and to restructure and diversify their economies.
  • An outlook on the availability of investment and debt financing for commodities production and trade in developing countries.
  • Civil Society Forum

(This is the main meeting AYM has been invited to, but she can take part in all the other fora.)

Since its inception, UNCTAD has recognized that civil society has an increasingly important role to play in efforts to achieve sustainable human development and alleviate poverty.UNCTAD also believes that enhanced cooperation between the private and the public sector is essential to the effective integration of developing countries into the global economy.UNCTAD therefore seeks ways to involve non-governmental organizations, academia, trade unions, parliamentarians and business associations in its work.

Recent ministerial conferences have particularly benefited from active civil society participation and have called for further collaboration with non-governmental actors to enhance the work of UNCTAD and its member States.

Civil society organizations made valuable contributions to UNCTAD 10 (Bangkok, 2000), UNCTAD 11 (São Paulo, 2004), UNCTAD 12 (Accra, 2008) and UNCTAD 13 (Doha, 2012).

The following are the themes

“From decision to action: Moving towards an inclusive and equitable global economic environment for trade and development.”

And sub-themes of the conference:

  • Challenges and opportunities in multilateralism for trade and development;
  • Promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth through trade, investment, finance and technology to achieve prosperity for all;
  • Advancing economic structural transformation and cooperation to build economic resilience and address trade and development challenges and opportunities, at all levels, within the UNCTAD mandate;
  • Contributing to the effective implementation of and follow-up to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and relevant outcomes from global conferences and summits, as related to trade and development.

The plenary sessions of the Civil Society Forum will precede the official opening of UNCTAD 14 to provide an opportunity for representatives of participating organizations to discuss and share their views on issues related to the Conference agenda, build consensus and finalize a Civil Society Declaration, which will be presented at the opening plenary of UNCTAD 14. Plenary sessions will be held on 15th and 16th July 2016.

At UNCTAD 14 (Nairobi, 2016), the UNCTAD secretariat and its Member States will continue to seek and promote the active involvement of civil society stakeholders to improve the outcome of the Conference and raise awareness of its agenda among the general public.

  • The Youth Forum

September 2015 was a big month in New York, as the world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development: a new program setting goals to be implemented over the next 15 years for a better world. As we move “from decisions to actions”, the conference’s theme, it cannot be a better moment to launch the UNCTAD Youth Forum.

The Youth Forum will be held from 19 to 21 July 2016 and will discuss various topics that have been identified by Youth worldwide which are major issues of concern following a United Nations survey that was carried out in 2015. These are better education, more and better jobs and state accountability.

The Forum is dedicated to students and young professionals between the age of 18 and 30, who are interested in trade and development issues, want to debate with other millennials from all continents to contribute to shaping the world you want – which is the theme of UNCTAD Youth Forum.

The objectives of the Forum are to:

  • Allow Youth to raise awareness with global leaders participating in UNCTAD 14 on issues they consider of major concern and that they want to see included in the world agenda,
  • Raise awareness about UNCTAD’s work and projects among Youth,
  • Give Youth the opportunity to interact with global leaders and learn from their experience,
  • Create a network of future leaders from different places around the world.

UNCTAD Youth Forum will serve as a discussion platform to hear the views and ideas of youth on education, more and better jobs and government accountability; topics that are of great concern to the Millennials’ generation. It will be a great opportunity for youth to share their views with global leaders.

  • Conclusion

The intention of this document is to set up standard practice for member consultation before AYM’s participation in any meeting, to ensure that our position is comprehensive and well-articulated.

We look forward to your input.