Youth Caucus – Thursday – 23rd April 2015

Today, we started the Youth Caucus with a presentation by Marco Kamiya, from the UN-Habitat Urban Economy Branch on the Economics of the Three Legged Approach.

We looked into UN-Habitat’s model for city development called “City Development Triangle” that has three parts:

  • Planning Urban Expansion,
  • The Legal Framework and Governance
  • Urban Economy & Finance

The triangle is a more integrated approach advocated by UN-Habitat that can guarantee properly balanced urbanization.


We than looked specifically into the guiding principles of each one of the legs, and finalized by discussing how to keep the “house” in order, by strengthening our base with the three legged approach, and incorporating the various cross-cutting issues such as human rights, gender, youth and climate change.

You can download Marco’s full presentation here: Youth Caucus The Economics of 3LA

We moved into a specific discussion about entry points for you within the three legged approach. One of the most obvious ones, are:

  • The need to better understand how young people relate to the city, and use this to discuss urban planning, and particularly how young people can be actively shaping public spaces.
  • In regards to legal frameworks and governance, youth rights come into play very strongly. Legal frameworks need to recognize youth as important stakeholders, and provide them with an enabling environment if they are to engage in the governance of cities and public space.
  • Finally, the economic argument is huge, and the linkages between youth and job creation are already a given. However, more work needs to be done in terms of better articulating the needs of young people in regards to employment, particularly trying to tackle the challenges of informality of jobs.

We also discussed the importance of ensuring our cities are inclusive of people with disabilities, trying to tackle issues of accessibility and inclusiveness of disable youth in programmes and policies of UN-Habitat, as well as incorporating disable people as one of the core cross-cutting issues.

As well as we looked into how the environment is integrated into the three legged approach: environmental-friendly urban planning using green technology and architecture; also the introduction of environmental conservation and protection legislation into the urban context and the economic opportunities created by new green-technology, green-jobs, etc.

Finally, we briefly discussed Climate Change, and particularly the role UN-Habitat should play in disaster risk reduction and disaster prevention, and how we must incorporate DRR into our planning efforts to rethink resilient cities. Understanding DRR as an investment rather than spending to the municipalities.

Negotiations Update – Morning of 23rd April

Last night, the negotiations went through the whole night, but they managed to finish the Omnibus Resolution. While we don’t have the final updates, it seems that most of the cross-cutting elements were kept, including the references to financing both at the work programme and budget.

The resolutions can be found at: 

Quick evaluation of the youth participation at the 25th Governing Council

Since this was our last Youth Caucus for the 25th GC, we did a quick round of evaluations and feedback, some of the main lessons highlighted were:

– Judging by the positive impact with the Norwegian Youth Delegate, Tone, it was consensus that we should really try to promote more the Youth Delegates programme, and encourage governments to include youth representatives in their official delegations.

– We also need to ensure more clarity over the process, so that civil society – particularly civil society youth – could engagement more meaningfully throughout the process.

– This is the first GC that the role of youth in the Habitat agenda has not being questioned, and in general we feel quite positive that member states finally realized the crucial role young people play in the development of our cities.

– We need to work closer with the Major Group for Children and Youth to ensure more preparatory work is doing in between events, lobbying missions in NY, and capitals to prepare the grounds for next Governing Council.

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