The British Youth Council provides a platform for UK youth to be represented internationally on the issues that matter to them.
We believe that young people should have a say on the decisions that affect them and the issues they care about. Many of these issues are either global in nature, such as poverty and climate change, directly affected by global events, such as the financial crash, or dealt with at international forums such as the European Union or G8/G20.
UK Young Ambassadors
The Young Ambassadors are a team of 12 elected young people aged 18-25 representing the four nations of the UK. The UK Young Ambassadors work in partnership with the Northern Ireland Youth Forum, Scottish Youth Parliament and youth organisations in Wales to deliver a strong voice from the Nations. Meet the Young Ambassadors
They represent UK youth at international forums and events ensuring the voices of young people are heard. Before major events, the Young Ambassadors run large consultations throughout the UK and online.
There are four main ways that the Young Ambassadors represent young people internationally, through Structured Dialogue, the European Youth Forum, the Commonwealth Youth Council and ad hoc fora, conferences and events.
The Young Ambassadors work in Europe in two main ways; Structured Dialogue and the European Youth Forum. For a snapshot guide to Europe, take a look at our beginner's guide.
The Structured Dialogue is a space for young people and policy makers to discuss and feed into EU youth policy at national and European level together, as well as a tool to ensure that youth policy meets the needs and expectations of young people across Europe. It takes the form of national consultations which are then taken to EU Youth Conferences at European level. You can find all the recommendations here.
European Youth Forum
The British Youth Council holds the UK seat on the European Youth Forum (YFJ) where we meet with national youth councils and international youth organisations across Europe. Chris Marland and Pegah Moulana are the UK representatives to the European Youth Forum. All papers, minutes, agendas and opportunities are available on the Young Ambassadors website.
Council of Members (COMEM): The Council of Members of YFJ meet every 6 months. The UK (via BYC) has one voting seat and one observer who vote on Policy Papers and Resolutions, attend / host Thematic Squares and hold the Board, Advisory Panel on Youth and FCC to account. Every two years, there will be elections to the Advisory Panel on Youth, FCC, and Board.
The European Youth Forum runs a range of other events such as training, conferences, workshops and seminars on key youth issues often in partnership with the Council of Europe, European Presidencies, European Commission and the United Nations. Members of the British Youth Council often have access to these training events and conferences.
The BBC+ (Benelux Bodensee Cooperation Plus) is a cooperation of National Youth Councils that works closely together, meeting prior to COMEM to discuss policies and amendments, candidacies, sharing information and knowledge, supporting new members and offer general help.
Current Members are the National Youth Councils from the following Countries: UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, German Speaking Part of Belgian Youth Council, Flemish Youth Council.
Not sure what this is? Take a look at our beginner's guide:
The Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF) takes place every two years before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. It provides young Commonwealth citizens with the opportunity to discuss issues, shares their experiences, builds consensus and identifies best practices. Delegates from all Commonwealth nations attend the event and a final communiqué document is produced and presented to Heads of Government.
The Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) is a pan-regional youth platform made up of representatives from national youth councils from the 53 members of the Commonwealth of Nations. The CYC represents 1.2 billion young people from across Commonwealth countries and is supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Leon Ward and Kavita Sharma are the UK representatives to the Commonwealth Youth Forum and Council.
A youth delegate is a young person that is given formal negotiator accreditation as part of the UK delegation at international summits such as the G8/G20 and the United Nations. BYC recently supported young people to attend the Y20 summit in Mexico ahead of the G20 and facilitated UK youth involvement with Rio+20.
The British Youth Council seeks to send youth representatives young people at relevant forum and platform as and when an opportunity arises. We do this either by calling on our pool of elected Ambassadors and Trustees or by putting out an open call to young people. These opportunities will be shared on the British Youth Council website and on our Twitter and Facebook pages.
Youth delegates are the voice of young people and can play an unprecedented role in influencing a country’s official position and can be inspiring and motivating for young people while helping to translate complicated policy language into something accessible and relevant to people’s daily lives. The British Youth Council continues to lobby Government departments and Ministers for an official elected youth delegate programme in the UK similar to other countries.