The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is engaging the youth in its policy-setting processes with a special Youth Programme tagged, Young ICT Policy Leaders (YIPL) at its Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-14) held in Busan, Republic of Korea.
According to the UN specialised agency for ICTs, the programme is designed to more effectively empower and engage the next generation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) leaders to ensure continued leadership and stability in the ICT field.
The Young ICT Policy Leaders (YIPL) programme specifically aims to advance the policy making skills of tomorrow’s ICT professionals. It provides a platform for mentorship and networking, and nurtures knowledge and skills exchange through a series of five sessions with global leaders from the ICT sector.
The sessions of the programme include: “Working and Thriving in the ICT Sector”, “Why Policy Leadership Matters”, “Working in a Multi-stakeholder World”, “Leadership in Building Consensus” and “Getting the Job Done: Lessons for 2018.”
Each national delegation at PP-14 was invited to nominate two young members of their delegation (aged under 35) to participate in the programme, with the City of Busan funding the participation of a further 35 delegates from Least Developed Countries, to ensure broad participation.
Two thousand young people from across the globe contributed to the PP-14 youth public consultation, an online crowd-sourced youth policy statement which was submitted as a proposed Resolution on Youth to the PP-14 Plenary by Costa Rica. This innovative initiative paves the way for greater inclusion of youth voices in governance processes, enabling them to actively contribute to policies which directly affect them.
ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré says “it is very encouraging to see such informed and energetic contributions to our main policy-making conference processes. Young people are not just the future of this sector, they are a current force of creators, entrepreneurs and consumers and we stand to benefit the more we can integrate their voices and insights into policies that will guide our sector towards the future knowledge economy.”
The PP-14 Youth Programme is part of ITU’s wider Youth Programme which seeks to use ICTs to enhance education, reduce youth unemployment, bridge the digital divide and promote the social and economic development of young people globally.