Beijing to host World Youth Assembly in October_1Beijing, 22 July 2015—Beijing will host the 2015 version of the World Youth Assembly which will be focused on engaging youth in discussing the new Sustainable Development Goals and issues related to urbanization and ecological security.

The two day event will also seek youth inputs into the development of the New Urban Agenda and examine the impacts of youth unemployment on the urban environment, governance and economy as well identify ways that urban areas can create decent employment and livelihoods.

At a joint press conference held in Beijing Tuesday, UN-Habitat and the International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organization(IESCO)representatives also announced that the UN-Habitat Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship would also be held at the same time.

The UN-Habitat Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Awards is a joint initiative of UN-Habitat, International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organization(IESCO) and China Development Orient Urban Development and Investment Company Limited(CDO).

Call for submissions for the Youth Award was launched in conjunction with the Twenty-Fifth session of UN-Habitat Governing Council in April, 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya. Applications are currently being received.

A Review Committee composed of experts and eminent persons from different fields from all over the world have been identified by the parties to carry out the review and assessment of the submissions.

A long history of youth programming

Since the first Youth Assembly held in Canada, and subsequently in Kenya, Brazil, Nigeria, Italy, Colombia, the World Urban Youth Assembly has developed into a leading global platform where youth deliberate on urban issues.

After the notable success in Nanjing in 2008, the World Urban Youth Assembly will return to Beijing. In his welcoming remarks Mr. Oyebanji Oyeyinka of UN-Habitat explained that the agency had a long history of youth programming and handling awards to promote best practices.

The Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award had been set up to promote youth innovations and entrepreneurship. He thanked IESCO and CDO for accepting to work with UN-Habitat. “The role of innovation and entrepreneurship in shaking up the future with better opportunities for decent jobs and livelihoods cannot be over emphasized.

Policies that foster strong demand, increase productive investment and improve access to finance can have a positive impact on young people’s aspiration to become entrepreneurs and inevitably generate more employment”, he said.

Two winners, five categories and a cash prize

In his remarks, Mr. Jiang Mingjun, the IESCO Founding President, introduced the guidelines for the UN-Habitat Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Awards.

“The Award has been set up to recognize, honour, inspire and support a young generation of innovators and entrepreneurs from all over the world who are in a unique position to leverage the power of invention to establish businesses that will not only bring positive change to society, economy and environment but will also act as a platform for all the youths to share and learn from. Two winners from each of the following five categories; Youth Leadership; Green Inventions and Innovations; Urban Ecological Safety; Social and cultural innovations; and Youth Entrepreneurship will receive a cash prize of USD 20,000, a certificate and trophy,” said Mr. Mingjun.

Mr. Wang Jun, President of China Development Orient Urban Development and Investment Company Limited in his remark said his company and stakeholders are committed to sponsoring the Award because it encourages youth to employ innovative technologies to start to start businesses and to make contributions towards youth empowerment and sustainable development.

Beijing to host World Youth Assembly in OctoberAlso present at the conference, was Lloyd Lucien, Ambassador of Surinam to China, members of the UN-Habitat Urban Youth Empowerment and Ecological Safety Project including, An Xueli, Executive Director General of IESCO, Beijing Secretariat, Ms. Shan Fenping, President of UNITY Magazine and Deputy Director, IESCO, Guo Chongli: Senior Advisor and Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Kenya, Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to UN-Habitat, Mr, S.Ananthakrishnan, Director of Review Committee of UN-Habitat Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Awards, Li Weimin and Gao Changchun.