The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo represented a significant step forward in recognizing the sexual and reproductive rights of all people worldwide. The YCSRR was formed at the Hague Youth Forum, a meeting held in February 1999 during the 5-year review of ICPD (known as ICPD+5). The Hague Youth Forum was organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Population Foundation (WPF) and the Dutch Council on Youth and Population in order to provide young people with an opportunity to express their views and share their recommendations regarding issues related to the ICPD Programme of Action created in 1994.
A number of young people participating in the forum were particularly concerned with the sexual and reproductive rights of adolescents and young people. These individuals established the YCSRR to support and sustain young people’s efforts towards the realization of their sexual and reproductive rights. Armed with a mission and objectives, an organizational structure and clear decision-making procedures, the YCSRR has grown tremendously over the years.
The YCSRR was granted consultative status by the United Nations Economic Social Council (ECOSOC) on July 25, 2016. The ECOSOC status is the highest status granted by the United Nations (UN) to non-governmental organizations, thereby allowing them to participate in the work of the UN. Even though the YCSRR has been engaging in advocacy at the United Nations for more than twenty years, this ECOSOC accreditation enabled the organization to strengthen its advocacy efforts in order to influence the inclusion of young people and their sexual and reproductive rights in different spaces, such as the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Currently the organization encompasses over 20 members from around the world and 3 staff members based in Canada. The YCSRR is proud of its diverse membership, which represents many different regions, backgrounds, and identities. In the coming years, the YCSRR will continue to raise awareness, to train young people through advocacy workshops and publications, and to ensure that there are always progressive youth active at relevant conferences and events.
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Click here for more information on how to apply for the ECOSOC status.