IMCS - Pax Romana United Nations Advocacy Team
- List of platforms in which IMCS is involved and its position.
The IMCS United Nations Advocacy Team is involved in a number of youth-led and other platforms within the UN System. First and foremost among them, are the key youth-led platforms. They are:
- International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organizations (ICMYO) – IMCS is one of the founding organizations within this network of the world’s largest youth-led and youth-serving movements. IMCS played a major role in the reform of ICMYO’s Guidelines during the 2013 Annual Meeting in New York, and is currently the UN Liaison of ICMYO to the UN. In this role, the UN Advocacy Team helps coordinate communication and activities between UN agencies, primarily those active in the Inter-Agency Network for Youth Development (IANYD), and the ICMYO Task Force, the elected coordinating body of ICMYO.
- UN Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY) – IMCS is one of the most active organizations within this UN General Assembly mandated space. The UN MGCY is a platform that allows youth-led and child-serving organizations participate in certain official UN intergovernmental policy processes. At the moment, IMCS is active in almost every process in which the UN MGCY participates, namely the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the SDG indicator process, the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III, the follow-up work around the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, the work around the financing for development process, the World Humanitarian Summit, and others. IMCS has participated in meetings, preparatory committees, side events, panels, and consultations around these critical processes. The IMCS UN Advocacy Team continues to engage a number of IMCS regional coordinators and members in the UN MGCY’s work in these processes.
Besides key youth-led platforms, IMCS is also active engaged in platforms around specific UN processes. Some of the most important include:
- Inter-Agency Network for Youth Development (IANYD) – IANYD is the coordination body of all the UN System’s youth focal points. This body helps to coordinate the work of the many UN agencies when it comes to youth issues and overall youth policy, namely the implementation and follow-up of the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY). At the moment, IMCS is active in the IANYD as ICMYO Liaison to the UN. IMCS delivers ICMYO updates during IANYD meetings and participates in sessions. Moreover, IMCS is often called upon to advise the members of the IANYD when needed.
- Major Group and other Stakeholder High-Level Political Forum Coordination Mechanism – The IMCS UN Advocacy Team not only helped establish this mechanism, it chaired the process of creating the terms of reference that now govern it. Essentially, IMCS facilitated the existence of this critical body that is meant to help the 9 Agenda 21 major groups and the other stakeholders mentioned in follow-up UN General Assembly resolutions around sustainable development, better coordinate their efforts and advocacy towards the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the intergovernmental body that will review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As proof of IMCS’ excellent facilitation, IMCS UN Advocacy Team Coordinator, Christopher Dekki, was elected from among a number of major group candidates to represent stakeholders at a policy retreat in November 2015 organized by the President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Going forward, IMCS will participate in the MGoS HLPF Coordination Mechanism through the UN MGCY, which has a permanent seat on the mechanism as one of the original 9 major groups. As it has in the past, IMCS will play an active role in the HLPF and will continue to follow new developments around SDG implementation.
- World Humanitarian Summit Youth Advisory Group – In collaboration with colleagues from the UN MGCY, IMCS is participating in a group of UN agencies and civil society organizations that is helping to facilitate youth participation in the upcoming UN World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in May in Istanbul, Turkey. At the moment, this group is working with the WHS Secretariat, as well as the government of the City of Istanbul to host a youth summit before the WHS. IMCS, thanks to its participation, has been able to help in nominating youth to the WHS and will hopefully play a strong role in the event, as it has in previous WHS related youth events, namely the WHS Global Youth Consultation in Doha, Qatar in September 2015.
- NGO Committee on Sustainable Development – IMCS was invited to sit on the executive board of this ailing platform of NGOs in order to help reenergize its members and bring more youth into its work. Currently, the IMCS UN Advocacy Team is advising its chair on how best to move forward when it comes to engaging members in sustainable development processes at the UN.
- How IMCS works within the UN System and its impact on youth movements.
IMCS has positioned itself as an indispensable youth-led movement within the UN System. Thanks to its central role in a number of critical platforms at the UN, IMCS has become a key facilitator of youth movement participation. Through ICMYO, the UN MGCY, and other platforms, IMCS is centrally positioned to coordinate youth engagement throughout the UN. As a result, the advocacy work of IMCS at the UN has a major impact on youth movements. Partner organizations like the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), the World Alliance of YMCAs, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY), AIESEC, and others all look to IMCS for assistance when it comes to effective UN advocacy. On multiple occasions, these organizations have requested and continue call upon IMCS to provide trainings and capacity building to the members of their movements.
Without the diligent work of the IMCS UN Advocacy Team, many opportunities available to critical youth organizations would be lost. This is because IMCS is able to coordinate with other youth movements in terms of meetings and events that take place in New York. An example of this can be seen in terms of the high number of youth-led organizations that participated in the Global Youth Policy Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan in October 2014. IMCS’ presence in New York meant that it was able to play a central role in the planning of the event with the UN and helped ensure that key youth organizations from ICMYO and the UN MGCY were invited to attend and participate in sessions. Besides that event, IMCS played a central planning and coordination role in the ECOSOC Youth Forums, as well as the massive 2014 World Conference on Youth in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where Christopher Dekki of the IMCS UN Advocacy Team was seconded to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development in Sri Lanka to work directly with the Government of Sri Lanka, the UN, and other youth organizations to prepare for the conference.
III. Key activity (lobbying, leadership, etc.) of the movement in the history of the UN System.
The key activity of IMCS in terms of the history of the UN, very simply, is advocacy. Advocacy is more than just lobbying, it is an activity that requires knowledge, leadership, cooperation, and coordination in order to be successful. IMCS has always been active in lobbying UN Member States during intergovernmental processes, but it has done much more than that. As a leader within the youth sector at the UN, IMCS’ advocacy is a force in and of itself. In terms of impact, IMCS has helped facilitate the voices of youth in key intergovernmental processes, like the negotiations that created the SDGs. IMCS is constantly on the ground at key UN meetings collaborating with others and preparing interventions to make an impact on intergovernmental processes. Moreover, IMCS has co-organized side events with organizations active in ICMYO and the UN MGCY as to further promote the positions of young people in key UN processes.