First National Conference on Youth Policy in Georgia
16 November. 2011. TBILISI. The first National Conference on Youth policy development was organized in Tbilisi on 15-16 November to discuss the draft National Youth Policy paper. A comprehensive National Youth Policy is currently being developed by the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs of Georgia with the support of UNICEF and UNFPA. The National Youth Policy aims to provide a long-term vision and identify appropriate mechanisms to address the situation and needs of young people and to optimise their potential.
The National Conference involved up to 140 delegates – students, representatives of the NGOs and Governmental bodies, independent experts, researchers and donor organizations. The conference was held under the leadership of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs and supported by UNICEF.
Within the framework of the two-day conference the delegates reviewed the draft of the National Youth Policy and provided their recommendations. The policy seeks to institutionalise mechanisms for dialogue between youth and the government on the realities of young people in Georgia, and on the government’s responsibilities vis-à-vis young people. It will also assist the government in meeting relevant European and international standards and in optimising existing youth resources.
In order to ensure the broad participation of young people in the policy development process, a series of youth consultations were held in August - October 2011. About 35 trained facilitators met with young people across the country, using a specially designed “World Café” methodology which encourages free and open discussion in an informal and conducive environment. Each workshop had up to 20 participants. In this way, facilitators collected information about young people’s needs, challenges, desires and the priorities they would like to see addressed by the government. In total up to 70 such workshops took place in the different regions of Georgia, involving around 1400 young people.
A special web page (www.youth.gov.ge) was created to extend the outreach of the consultation process. Anyone wishing to participate in the discussion and debate on the process of the National Youth Policy can go to the website to join the discussion forum and access useful information.
The National Youth Policy paper is expected to be finalised and adopted in early 2012.
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