JADE at the 8th Edition of the UNESCO Youth Forum

The 8th Youth Forum of UNESCO, took place between 29th and 31st of October, in Paris and sought to formulate strategic recommendations on youth unemployment. These were to be presented to the 195 member states, with the occasion of the 37th session of the General Conference of UNESCO. With the theme “Youth and Social Inclusion: civic engagement, Dialogue and Skills Development”, the Forum brought together 500 young people from over 150 countries not only to formulate the recommendations, but to also share ideas, experiences and reflections on common problems.

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JADE was represented at the Forum by Victor Soto, Vice-President and Thiago Millnitz, Brazilian Ambassador, working on Global Public Affairs. They worked to ensure that the relevance of the Junior Enterprise Network is acknowledged and included in the recommendations. Bearing in mind that organizations are not mentioned specifically, our effort was focused on explaining and including the concept of Junior Enterprises in the above-mentioned instructions. The results can be seen below, with some specific parts of the official document, in which the work of the JADE was recognized. This can be used to get more credibility with our customers, visibility in the search and maintenance of partners and legitimacy in our universities.

The recommendations were divided into three areas: “Policy formulation and review with the participation of youth”, “Capacity development for the transition to adulthood” and “Civic engagement, democratic participation and social innovation”. In the first axis one of the recommendations is “to promote and conduct formal and non-formal education on active national and global citizenship” in addition to “assure closer cooperation between UNESCO and non-governmental youth organizations and reestablish a youth NGO commission within the UNESCO-NGO liaison committee”.

It was also suggested, this time within the second part, that “youth’s skills and competences gained through non-formal and informal education and training should be recognized by the Member States, by developing tools and mechanisms to officially value and validate them.» Following this, in the same subdivision, it is also recommended to “improve the quality of the formal educational system, especially through entrepreneurial, technical and vocational skills, and these should be included in the academic curricula”. Furthermore, it is also mentioned the need to “bridge the gap between the education system and the labour market, providing job opportunities, encouraging entrepreneurship and social business”.

Finally, the third axis highlights the phrase “It is imperative to teach youth what social entrepreneurship is and how it operates through utilizing and promoting peer to peer education”. This emphasizes the need to collaborate and exchange, both at local and international level and reflects an important characteristic of our Junior Enterprises, peer to peer learning.

Therefore, this event was an opportunity to see that, in fact, JADE and the Junior Enterprise concept are fully aligned with the needs of the youth of the world, expressing their urge for growth and being active players in the development of all countries.