What is the Major Group of Children and Youth?

Agenda 21 (a UN agreement from the Earth Summit 20 years ago) created a way for civil society (that means you or me) to participate in UN Sustainable Development negotiations….it created 9 “Major Groups” to represent segments of civil society.

The way anyone under 30 gets involved / engages is via the Major Group of Children and Youth.

How do I get involved? Or hear about opportunities?

There are two types of membership:

  • Individual membership (below the age of 30 years)
  • Group membership (child or youth led organisations / coalitions / networks etc)

To join, you have to register with us by joining Major Group for Children and Youth Space.

Joined the mailing list but don’t know what to do?

Once you have joined the Major Group, there are lots of ways to get involved and how you do this is completely up to you. You may want to be an active contributor to policy, help facilitate a working group, inspire youth activism in your local community, or just read about what’s been going on. The Major Group is not an organisation–therefore its completely volunteer based. There is a monthly meeting for the more active members (or anyone who wants to join a 2 hour conference call) to make decisions — this is called a facilitation team meeting. The agenda and minutes are available online: http://meetingwords.com/ftcall

What are the Major Groups?

At the first Earth Summit in 1992 (the UN Conference on Environment and Development, or UNCED), it was recognized that sustainable development could not be achieved by governments alone. It would require the active participation of all sectors of society and all types of people – consumers, workers, business persons, farmers, students, teachers, researchers, activists, indigenous communities, and other communities of interest.
The “Major Groups”, which were identified in Agenda 21 are: women, children and youth, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, the scientific and technological community, and farmers. These groups have participated in meetings of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), and in related sustainable development processes such as the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

What about people under 18 years old?

For the purposes of UN conferences and meetings, only individuals over the age of 16 may hold a UN grounds pass. Participants may seek accreditation to Rio+20 (if needed) until 20 February 2012 and pre-register for the Conference online here until 20 May 2012. Participants under 16 years of age may participate in UN conferences and meetings, though only with a designated chaperone. Both participant and chaperone must be pre-registered through an accredited organization.

My organization is working with children and youth. How can it join the MGCY?

Joining the MGCY is very easy:  register with us by joining Major Group for Children and Youth Space

Can individuals join the MGCY?

Yes–if you are below the age of 30. To get individual membership you need to join the online “Youth Space” by signing up to this mailing list.

Is there a Brazilian mailing list?

If you are in Brazil, we recommend writing to the Portuguese mailing list to briefly introduce yourself and to also say how you want to get involved. Lista de e-mails para jovens e crianças brasileiros interessados em se envolver nos processos da Rio+20. Informações em Português: https://groups.google.com/group/juvrio20/.

I still have questions…who should I contact?

Email info@childrenyouth.org

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