Asia Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance
On 28th October, 2014, UNESCAP in collaboration with UNESCO, Global Peace Foundation and Global Young Leaders Academy convened the Asia-Pacific Conference on Youth Volunteerism to Promote Participation, Development and Peace at the UNCC, Bangkok and launched the Asia Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance (APPDSA). It established a broad-based Pan-Asian platform for youth and civic society action and partnership to support the adoption of post-SDGs 2015 including multilateral service partners, NGOs, and the private sector to foster youth volunteering on health, environmental, disaster response, peace-building, youth entrepreneurship and education.
Sub-regional forums and APPDSA development, including models such as Rise Nepal following the earthquake, Green Asia and All Lights solar villages addressing climate change were advanced in convening in Kathmandu, Ulaanbaatar and Seoul following the Bangkok launch. This platform was also furthered in the International Young Leaders Assembly 2016, August in UN New York and the World Bank in Washington D.C. supported by the United Nations Youth Envoy. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon addressed the convening.
Rise Nepal: Youth in Nepal as part of APPDSA respond to disaster
Following the massive earthquake that hit Nepal in late April 2015, members of the APPDSA, began the campaign “RISE Nepal”. This youth-led campaign has mobilized young people to engage in service and volunteer activates that provide relief to those affected by the earthquake. Young members of APPDSA have flown in from other countries to Nepal to support youth there working on the ground to equip and train youth volunteers, as well as coordinate assessment and delivery of the most immediate needs for short and long-term recovery.
The young people, with support from resource persons, developed a series of concept notes covering, for each cluster, five thematic areas: youth engagement, policy, social entrepreneurship, partnership and collaboration, and media and awareness. Agreement was made that, through follow-up collaboration between these stakeholders, the concept notes would be developed further so that support could be sought from development partners and the private sector for project implementation at the community level.
Thai youth spread environmental and water use awareness
As part of the National Training on Youth Volunteerism and Empowerment, 17-20 March 2015, Bangkok, organized by ESCAP and the Youth Civic Media Learning Centre, a group of 100 young people from Thailand produced various awareness-raising media products aimed at conserving water and protecting the environment. The Training was part of the work of the APPDSA to engage youth in service activities to promote participation, development and peace. The young people at the Training – having gained knowledge on a variety of environmental issues including water management, and having been trained in media skills – designed and developed innovative posters to encourage wise use of water. They also thought up the slogan “We Change – World Change” to promote action among youth in the context of engendering greater adherence to the principles of sustainable development. This slogan motivated the production of two videos by the young people just in advance of World Water Day, one on life in Bangkok considering resource use and encouraging conservation and one on the global risks of not managing water issues and addressing climate change.
Allights Village Project (ALV)
The ALV is devoted to providing appropriate technology to villages lacking electricity to improve the quality of life of families around the world. Further, it strengthens the competencies of the beneficiaries through implementing income-generating projects and character education programs.
This project is designed to develop sustainable communities in which residents and the environment live in harmony, and community members work together to achieve common goals. Through emerging partnerships and commitments, All Lights Villages is rallying local and international communities and leaders to create opportunities for education to break the cycle of poverty, improved health and economic opportunities.
ALV is also assisting the Philippine government’s effort in energizing the more than 30,000 villages throughout the nation suffering from the absence of electricity. As of July 2015, ALV has provided 5,682 households in 40 villages, 222 streetlights, and 10 community learning centers in far-flung communities in the Philippines. The national and local government is supporting ALV in providing in-kind contribution for logistics and providing facilities and lampposts for the streetlights. Multi-national companies like FEDEX, SAMSUNG, SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION, Metrobank, also support the project.
North-East Asia Forum on Volunteerism Urges Youth Participation for Regional Peace and Development
As an action step, the forum issued an MOU between APPDSA and the Mongolian Youth Federation on behalf of all assembled partners to implement the Mongolia Youth Corps and to establish Ulaanbaatar as the Northeast Asia hub for the Asia-Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance.
Members of the APPDSA also adopted an Ulaanbaatar Call to Action, urging cooperation on service and development priorities on the regional level with like-minded partners, creation of an online platform, and promotion of an international volunteer eco camp and education program to achieve a “green future” for Mongolia. Desertification in Tuiren has been highlighted. Tuiren forest is 4.8% of Mongolian landscape. 76% of Mongolian landscape has facing desertification problem.
Global Forum on the Role of the Republic of Korea in Sustainable Development
The Forum, co-organized by the APPDSA, the Korea Council on Foreign Relations and UN Habitat, focused on sharing knowledge and experiences with regard to preparation for the SDGs. Participants, including youth, from within and beyond the region worked to identify good practices in promoting sustainable development and formulated a Call to Action, all of which would be disseminated through APPDSA. In follow up to the Forum, meetings were held with representatives of various partners including the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and civil society organizations about the possibility of collaboration on youth development initiatives including analysis of issues, regional trainings and country level project work.
Toward marking the 2nd year anniversary milestone of Sustainable Development Goals and the Youth Resolution 2250, the APPDSA and multi-lateral partners are committed to putting youth as the heart of sustainable development and build lasting peace by launching a “CALL FOR MODELS” as an evidence-based campaign for the youth empowerment and meaningful participation of SDGs and Resolution 2250 in Asia and the Pacific region.