UNESCO, Youth Parliament of Uzbekistan meet to learn about youth development and civic engagement

Members of the UN Youth Advisory Board (YAB) and Youth Parliament (YP) of Uzbekistan met on 24 and 25 January 2022 in Tashkent to learn about holistic youth development and youth civic engagement.

The 2-day training programme, based on UNESCO’s two tools, novel in the UN system, was delivered by international UNESCO youth trainers and was a contribution to the Youth Task Force Workplan of Uzbekistan’s United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) . The training supported the young agents of change to discuss and identify opportunities and challenges to enable holistic youth development and civic engagement in Uzbekistan. At its core, youth civic engagement is characterized by young people and their collective action to address issues of public concern and create social change. Holistic youth development focuses on creating an enabling environment and opportunities to support all young people to realise their potential.

During the training, the groups worked together to develop a vision and set of recommendations to address youth issues in the country, and design possible policy solutions to foster young people’s active citizenship while considering the diverse experiences and needs of different youth groups (especially those with fewer economical, geographical and physical opportunities in Uzbekistan).

The training was the first opportunity for members of the Youth Advisory Board and Youth Parliament to engage with each other. Through a structured dialogue, the groups shared their ideas and experiences. The young change-makers took ownership of the discussions, creating an atmosphere of reflection, critical thinking and active exchange. As a result of the training, participants indicated they had “received new information on problems and opportunities for youth in [the] country” that they had not paid attention to before, with others suggesting they would become “more active in the process of policy making.”The UN Youth Advisory Board is a supporting structure of the UN Country Team in Uzbekistan, aiming at integrating youth voices and issues in the strategies and programmes designed and led by the UN in Uzbekistan. The Youth Parliament is a youth structure under the Senate of the Oliy Majlis (Parliament) of Uzbekistan similarly aiming at ensuring the participation of youth representatives in the plenary sessions of the Senate, meetings of the Senate Council, committees, etc. They also work to ensure youth voices and proposals are included for the consideration of government agencies and as subjects of legislative initiatives.