CCOUC member Miss Sharon Lo attended the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS)’s Global Youth Consultation in Doha of Qatar on 1-2 September. Almost 200 youth activists from 82 countries participated in this two-day event, which was designed to gain youth input regarding suggested changes to humanitarian practice, and how to maximise their meaningful engagement in humanitarian action.
The WHS is a process initiated by the United Nations Secretary General and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), which aims to establish new norms and practices for international humanitarian action. The multi-stakeholder process consists of a range of regional and stakeholder consultations, culminating in the final summit in Istanbul, Turkey in May 2016. The Global Youth Consultation was the official forum to incorporate children and youth as a major stakeholder group into this process. Delegates for this event were selected through a competitive process, on the basis of their previous humanitarian contributions and youth activism, and current engagement in the WHS process.
Miss Lo represented CCOUC over the course of the conference proceedings, providing many vocal contributions and thought-provoking ideas within the breakout sessions. In particular, she advocated the importance of a grassroots, collaborative and needs-assessment approach: values key to CCOUC’s ethos. Miss Lo also took up the role as a Facilitator for the “Reducing Vulnerability and Managing Risk” breakout session.
All of the ideas from the discussions were compiled and synthesised into an outcome document, which will be used to represent youth priorities in subsequent international discussions within the WHS process. Miss Lo was selected to be part of the core Drafting Committee which created the document. The Doha Youth Declaration on Reshaping the Humanitarian Agenda was finalised toward the end of the conference, and endorsed by delegates in the Closing Ceremony of the Conference.
Overall, this event was a great platform for CCOUC to contribute to these processes as an active stakeholder in the field of disaster and humanitarian action, and to continue its ongoing involvement in the WHS process.