In line with UNESCO’s Operational Stratgey on Youth 2014-2021 and the recommendations of the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum, the UNESCO Croke Park Symposium on Youth Civic Engagement and Leadership through Sport and Recreation will be held on 28 August 2014, in Dublin, Ireland. Participants will discuss innovative solutions and concrete policy options on how to maximize the potential of sport and recreation as mechanisms for youth civic engagement.
The Symposium is co-organized by three UNESCO Chairs committed to advancing international youth development programs and policy:
• UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
• UNESCO Chair in Pluralism, Human Rights and Democracy, University of Ulster, United Kingdom
• UNESCO Chair in Community, Leadership, and Youth Development, Penn State University, United States of America
According to the United Nations, 50% of the world population is aged 25 or younger, with 85% of all youth living in less developed countries. These figures describe an environment in which the active engagement of youth is essential to national development, to promoting a culture of peace and enabling social cohesion. However, engaging youth requires innovative strategies such as initiating youth leadership through the mechanism of sports and recreation.
This event will attempt to put the spotlight on such strategies and discuss concrete policy and programme options.
The Symposium will bring together experts, practitioners, members of development organizations, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors, and youth leaders to create innovative solutions to issues that directly impact youth and their communities. It will develop a series of key policy directions and a major formal declaration on utilizing sports and recreation as mechanisms for youth development worldwide. The final Croke Park Declaration will guide the three UNESCO Chairs in their joint work with UNESCO and other UN entities on youth programming and policy development.