PR No. 11 - Summary reports of panels discussions on youth (9 June 2011)

The two panels explored key employment, social and political challenges faced by youth in in the Arab states and globally.

Record of proceedings | 10 June 2011
Panel 1A "Arab youth: Aspiring for social justice" was moderated by Ms Jacki Davis of the European Policy Centre. It addressed a variety of issues related to the role of youth in recent and current uprisings in the Arab countries. In particular, what was the key driving factor for young people to participate in these events – the demand for democracy, the demand for a better life, or both? Was there a danger that the expectations of those young people would not be met, resulting in disappointment and apathy? How could political stability, which was so crucial to economic growth, be restored when young people’s demands for a better life had not yet been met and the continuing turmoil was making it even harder to do so? What help did young people in the Arab countries want and need from the international community and, in particular, from the ILO? How important had new media been in mobilizing young people versus the more traditional means?

Panel 1B "Global youth: Leading change" was also moderated by Ms Jacki Davis. It addressed a number of challenges facing young people across the world following the worst economic crisis since the 1930s and against the backdrop of uprisings across the Arab world. In particular, what were the biggest challenges for young people and how could they be given hope? How important was it to enable young people to actively contribute to resolving issues that affected them and what else could be done to involve them in that process? What help did young people want and need from the international community and, in particular, from the ILO? What could be the most effective ways to build bridges among young people around the world?