» IPDCTalks in Sana’a: Yemeni youth powering SDGs and peace with access to information
02.10.2017 - UNESCO Office in Doha

IPDCTalks in Sana’a: Yemeni youth powering SDGs and peace with access to information

©RNW Media

On the occasion of the International Day for Universal Access to Information, UNESCO Cluster Office for Yemen and the GCC and RNW Media’s Yemen Youth Panel organized the IPDCTalks in Sana'a under the theme "Yemeni Youth powering the Sustainable Development Goals and peace with public access to information" on 28 September 2017, with the support of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The event was attended by 300 people including students, researchers, professors, local and foreign civil society organizations and youth.

The IPDCTalks in Yemen focused on amplifying the voices on Yemeni youth on their roles and opinions in powering the SDGs and peace with access to information in their country. Given the local context, three SDGs were chosen as priority areas for discussion among youth, namely, SDG 4 on education, SDG 8 on employment and decent work and SDG 16 on peace and justice.

For each SDG, a guest speaker was invited to share his or her experience and ideas through TEDx format inspirational speeches, followed by a debate on each subject led by 20 youth trained by RNW and UNESCO on debating skills and the SDGs. A video of the four-day training can be accessed on this link.

Online youth surveys (educationemploymentpeace) were also conducted ahead of the IPDCTalks in Yemen, to inform the discussions during the debate and generate data and information on which the young debaters could rely on for their discussions. 

Inspirational videos on the three SDGs tackled in the context of Yemen were produced by RNW Media team to mobilize the public on these issues ahead of the IPDCTalks and generate discussion among youth. The videos are accessible by clicking on each theme: SDG 4 EducationSDG 8 EmploymentSDG 16 Peace.

A cartoon competition has also been organized to select the best cartoons on SDG 4, 8 and 16 from Yemeni artists. The final 20 cartoons selected as part of the competition were displayed through an exhibition at the event’s venue.

Opening the event, Laurent de Boeck, a.i UN Resident Coordinator and Chief of Mission for the International Office of Migration (IOM) in Yemen said: “In a country where youth aged 15 to 29 years old represent three-quarters of the population, it is important for their voices to be heard and amplified when discussing the SDGs, the peace-building process and their right to information. What we hope to achieve today is to make the SDGs meaningful to you and to provide a platform for youth to have their say on the future prospects of sustainable development and peace in their country”.

“No sustainable development can be envisioned without peace, good governance and respect of human rights. Efforts to guarantee access to quality health, education, protect the environment or reduce poverty can’t be met if information on these issues isn’t accessible to the public and if the media isn’t able to report on these issues. As people extensively rely on information to meet their basic humanitarian needs, it is crucial to provide an environment where information is accessible so the public can make informed decisions that may affect their everyday lives,” he added.


The IPDC Talks in Yemen are based on RNW Media’s Yemen Youth Panel project, which focuses on freedom of expression, youth participation in media development and prevention of violent extremism in the country.

On 28 September 2017, the international community celebrated the International Day for Universal Access to Information. UNESCO organized a series of events across the world to mark the day, including the main IPDCTalks which took place at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris. The “IPDC” stands for the Intergovernmental Programme for the Development of Communication, which is the key UNESCO’s body behind the celebration.

As part of these efforts, Yemen was selected as one of the nine countries where a celebration was organized with the support of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

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