L'oeil de la Genève Internationale
November 2016

In 2015, the UN Human Rights Council decided to establish a Forum on human rights, democracy and the rule of law to provide a platform to promote dialogue and cooperation on these areas. Hosted under the theme "Widening the Democratic Space: the role of youth in public decision-making", the first edition of the Forum, organized by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), will explore how youth voices can play a more meaningful role in political and public affairs.

The OHCHR underlines that "Although young people between the ages of 15 and 25 constitute a fifth of the world's population, they largely remain on the sidelines of mainstream politics. Few hold positions of power, especially young women and girls who are under-represented in Parliaments, political parties, electoral processes and public administrations. This poses a real threat to the quality and legitimacy of democratic institutions, which in turn may lead to the disenfranchisement of young people".

This new Forum will offer a unique opportunity to a variety of stakeholders to discuss best practices, opportunities and challenges for youth to participate more effectively in public decision-making. The event will be held on 21 and 22 November at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. All those who are interested to attend and have their say are welcome to register online

Amsterdam-based photographer Alex ten Napel (1958, Alkmaar) is renowned for his Alzheimer and Water portraits series. His work has been in numerous group and solo exhibitions, and widely published. Caspar is from his Young Diplomats series, photographed at The Hague Model United Nations in which young students congregate in a copy of a UN General Assembly, their resolutions are sent to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.