Over 125 participants from 86 countries have gathered in China on March 31, for the Third International Youth Forum on Creativity & Heritage along the Silk Roads.
During a week-long capacity-building forum, young participants will have the opportunity to learn from one another in the spirit of intercultural dialogue and a celebration of cultural diversity to engage in Changsha and Nanjing to explore the capacity of culture, innovation, and the creative industries, to achieve sustainable development through the safeguarding of cultural heritage and social integration.
Opening the Forum, Ms Marielza Oliveira, UNESCO Representative and Director of UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office welcomed the participants and said: “The IYF is not your typical Youth Forum. We will not tell you that “youth are the future”. We will not “empower” you. We will not ask you to “become” agents of change. Our starting point is our real belief that young people are changing the world right now, and a certainty that you will continue to take this leadership role in the years to come.”
Throughout the event, young entrepreneurs, youth leaders, municipal, national and international governmental officials, from within the cultural and creative industries will be able to experience first-hand how youth can promote economic development, social progress, and people-to-people exchanges to see how contribute in innovation, creativity and heritage protection can drive sustainable economic development and encourage increased socio-cultural awareness and understanding.
During the Forum young people will be given the space to share ideas and to gain a better understanding how culture enables and drives inclusive, sustainable and meaningful development for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, as outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They will also benefit from the experiences of Youth Leaders for the SDGs and other inspiring young creators, artists, entrepreneurs and community actors.
As an outcome of the International Youth Forum, participants will formulate a limited number of action-oriented recommendations that promote creativity, innovation, and capacity building. It is also hoped that the connections, made and the friendships nurtured would be given the opportunity to continue to share their ideas in a “ virtual youth space” along a 21st Century Silk Road, as the Alumni of IYF3, building bridges with past IYF participants, and paving the way for future youth participants.
Initiated in 2017, and co-organized by the UNESCO Beijing Office, the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO and the Municipal Governments such as Changsha and Nanjing has been empowering youth within the framework of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to see how culture and the creative industries, especially the media arts can contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs.