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Second Online Symposium on Youth Participation

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22 April 2021, coorganized with ArabEMBs

The ACEEEO in cooperation with the ArabEMBs on 22 April 2021 organized the Second Online Symposium on Youth Participation, in which with the valuable contributions of international experts we continued to discussed the theoretical and practical approaches to the topic.

The Symposium was opened by Zsolt Szolnoki (Secretary General, ACEEEO) and Hisham Kuhail (Executive Board Chairman, ArabEMBs). The Symposium then proceeded with the first block that tackled the question from both theoretical and practical viewpoint. The first presenter, Jean-Paul Gagnon (Senior Lecturer, Canberra School of Politics, Economics and Society) raised a rather provocative question on why and how the voting age should be lowered. He underlined that it is necessary to change our opinion about youth and possibly involve them into the development of policies. The second presenter was Yuliya Shypilova (Chief Technical Advisor, UNDP Kyrgyzstan), who presented about the Kyrgyz Best Practices on Youth Participation in Elections.

The second block, moderated by Mais Al-Atiat (Acting Secretary General, ArabEMBs), focused on Youth Participation in the Arab Region. This session included four presentations that summarized the experiences of countries, Mauritania, Tunisia, Libya, and Palestine. His Excellency Mohamed Vall Bilal (President of the Arab Organization for Electoral Administrations and Chairman of the Independent National Elections Commission of Mauritania) started with highlighting the reality of the situation and the fact of youth participation in the Arab region. He was followed by Mahmoud Al-Kadiki (Communication and Outreach Coordinator) and Abdulaziz Al-Sharif (Media Unit Officer from the High National Elections Commission of Libya), who were shedding light on the most important reasons for youth abstention from the elections, and talked about the most important programs of the Commission for electoral awareness. In the Tunisian experience, Mona Hatira (Field Coordinator from the Independent High Electoral Commission of Tunisia) clarified the role of the Independent High Electoral Commission in supporting youth participation in elections, starting with the participation of young people within the commission’s strategic plan for the period 2016-2019 within the seventh strategic objective. Farid Taamallah (Director of Information and Public Relations at the Central Elections Committee of Palestine) gave a presentation about Youth Participation in the Palestinian Elections.

For some of the presentations, please visit the dedicated page.