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Our African Youth Charter, which was adopted by the African Union and its member states, affirms that “Africa’s greatest resource is its youthful population and that through their active and full participation; Africans can surmount the difficulties that lie ahead”. Despite this bold statement, many young South Africans continue to feel disenfranchised and without substantive support from the government to realise their dreams.
On 25 October Youth@SAIIA hosted a one-day workshop with intelligent, passionate young delegates from across Africa between the ages of 13 and 23. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the emerging youth demographic in Africa and brainstorm a pdf youth statement (50 KB) ahead of the official launch of the new UNICEF Generation 2030 Africa 2.0 report and campaign.
Each year, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) holds a special Southern Africa Civil Society Forum. The 13th annual Forum took place last week, in Johannesburg. Members of the SAIIA Youth Policy Committee and alumni of the SAIIA Young Leaders Conference were there, to provide an eye-witness account of the proceedings.
International Youth Day, celebrated on 12 August 2017, is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention, inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace. Naafia Amod from SAIIA’s Youth Programme argues that African youth are uniquely placed to provide inclusive and informed leadership through the challenges facing our shared world.
International Youth Day, celebrated on 12 August 2017, is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention, inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace. Gugulethu Resha from SAIIA’s Youth Policy Committee reflects here on some of the contributions already being made by South African youth.
In a time of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which South Africa has committed to, all sectors and stakeholders are required to participate, incorporate and implement the SDGs into their operations. The mining sector is an important sector that can either facilitate or hinder progress. While the mining sector can promise economic development, job opportunities, business development, increased revenues and infrastructure linkages, it also has the potential to impact negatively on the SDGs through environmental degradation, displacement of populations, worsening economic and social inequality, gender-based violence, corruption, health and human rights degradation.
Youth@SAIIA has partnered with UNICEF South Africa to raise awareness on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues. In October 2016, we did a series of WASH related model UNICEF conferences, and have invited some of the participants to write for our youth blog as they continue their work on wash in 2017.
SAIIA Youth Policy Committee members Phiwayinkosi Mungwe, Janet Kachinga and Ditebogo Lebea have traveled to Morocco for this year's United Nations Climate Change Conference, otherwise known as COP22. From Morocco and from Johannesburg, young people who have been following these issues for many years will be writing about the direction the negotiations are taking.
Seventy-five outstanding young delegates have arrived at the SAIIA offices in Johannesburg, to participate in the fourth SAIIA Young Leaders Conference, from 26 June to 1 July. As part of the conference, the delegates (58 high school learners and 17 university students) will host their own youth negotiation sessions under the theme ‘Connecting the past to the present: Young South Africans shaping a sustainable future’. The negotiations will culminate in the handover of the pdf 2016 Young Leaders Declaration (359 KB) to the Presidency on 30 June. A youth dialogue will also be held on 30 June with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
SAIIA Youth Policy Committee members Luanda Mpungose and Annabel Fenton are in Istanbul for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit. They are providing daily updates on the main developments at the Summit, from their perspective as young South Africans.
Youth Policy Committee members Pule Nkopane and Franci van Rhyn are currently at the 2016 United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC) Youth Forum at the UN headquarters in New York. This year’s forum focuses on ‘Youth Taking Action to Implement the 2030 Agenda’, and Franci and Pule will be sharing daily updates here as young South Africans.
Over the two weeks of this year's United Nations Climate Change Conference, otherwise known as COP21, SAIIA youth participants will be following the debates and decisions of world representatives. From Paris and from Johannesburg, we will sending daily updates and explaining how young people who have been following these issues for many years feel about the direction the negotiations are taking.
This year, SAIIA Youth Policy Committee member Morategi Kale will be travelling to Paris to participate in the largest global conference on climate change, COP21. She will be blogging about her experiences here. In the run-up to the conference, we asked Morategi to tell us a bit about herself.
In September 2015, world leaders are convening for the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. To mark the occasion, on Saturday 19 September over 500 high school learners from across South Africa participated in the annual SAIIA Johannesburg Model United Nations Conference.
Fifty-five outstanding high school learners were selected from across the country to participate in the third annual youth negotiations at the SAIIA Young Leaders Conference, from 30 November to 5 December 2014. This was an opportunity for the voice of young South African leaders to be heard on current global challenges.
Helene Hoedl, Director of the Pretoria-based United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) described Model United Nations as the best outreach programme for young people 'in helping students to understand the principles, values and procedures of the United Nations and become a global citizen'. She was addressing over 500 high-school learners at the 2014 SAIIA Johannesburg Model United Nations Conference on 13 September, the largest event of its kind in Southern Africa.
Over five hundred high-school learners took part in the annual SAIIA UNA-USA Global Classrooms: Johannesburg Model United Nations Conference on Saturday 7 September 2013. Now in its 18th year, this simulation of the workings of the United Nations represented the culmination of months of preparation by the participants, on topics as diverse as peacekeeping, food security and the peaceful use of outer space.
The 2013 SAIIA UNA-USA Global Classrooms®: Johannesburg Model United Nations Conference will take place on 7 September 2013. Space is limited for our large conference, and as we usually have more interest than spaces available it is important to return the School Registration Form as soon as possible. Registration deadline is 7 June 2013.
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) would like to invite your school to participate in the 2013 SAIIA Environmental Sustainability Project (ESP) sponsored by Sasol!
The project is a schools outreach competition that requires teams of learners to research an assigned topic related to environmental sustainability, and to consider what possible recommendations or solutions they would propose at a local, national, regional and/or global level. Tutoring, workshops, and resource materials are provided to each of the participating schools, and regardless of competition results, each school is invited to be involved in various programme activities throughout the year.
Last Saturday (15 September), over 400 learners from 80 high schools from across Gauteng came together to form the largest Model United Nations conference South Africa has ever seen. "A testing ground for the diplomats of the future," is how CCTV correspondent Guy Henderson described the 2012 SAIIA Global Classrooms: Johannesburg Model United Conference.
Scientific reasoning and mathematical literacy are not enough to tackle the challenges that face South Africa and the world today. Learners and students need to become critical thinkers who are able to read between the lines in order to create solutions to issues that may not have just one right or just one wrong answer.
To foster a greater appreciation and understanding of global issues among the youth, the institute’s youth programme, simply called Youth @ SAIIA, provides unique and often life changing opportunities for youth to expand their perspectives and connect their realities to the global developments.
One of Youth @ SAIIA's largest and longest running programmes, our annual Model United Nations Conference, is now entering its 16th year. Model United Nations (MUN) is an academic simulation of the United Nations or Regional Bodies like the African Union. Since 2001 SAIIA's Model United Nations programme has partnered with Global Classrooms, an initiative of the United Nations Association of the USA, and hosts an annual conference held at SAIIA headquarters at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
SAIIA UNA-USA Global Classrooms® Model UN Johannesburg 2008 Conference, Saturday 31 May
The SAIIA Global Classrooms® Model UN 2008 Conference, sponsored by internationally by Merrill Lynch, took place on Saturday 31 May at Jan Smuts and Senate House on WITS Campus. Students from 75 schools around Gauteng participated in simulations of sittings of The United Nations Security Council and Human Rights Council. The competition encouraged students to learn crucial research and presentation skills, and encouraged students from a variety of background to interact on topics of real concern in international relations.
SAIIA UNA-USA Global Classrooms® 2009 Johannesburg Model UN Conference, Saturday 30 May
As part of our very important schools outreach initiative, the annual SAIIA Global Classrooms® Johannesburg Model UN Conference, sponsored internationally by Merrill Lynch, and run under the auspices of UNA-USA took place on Saturday 30 May at Jan Smuts House and Senate House on WITS Campus.
2007 SAIIA Global Classrooms® Model United Nations
Global Classrooms is an innovative education program that brings the Model United Nations experience to urban public schools across the United States and a diverse array of schools around the world. During in-class simulations of UN bodies, students role-play as representatives from countries, interest groups and nongovernmental organizations to tackle a host of global concerns.