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Youth Art Launched At UN Small Islands Conference

Youth Art Contest Launched for United Nations Conference on Small Islands

(United Nations, 16 August) -- Young people in small island nations are being invited to share their vision for island living through an international art contest, the United Nations announced today.

The winning entries of the art contest will be displayed at a UN conference on small islands that will take place in Mauritius from 10-14 January 2005. It will bring together representatives of island nations, including heads of State and Government, and those of donor and other countries to review progress made in the sustainable development of small island developing States over the last 10 years and to plan future action. (The first such conference was held in Barbados in 1994.)

Young people make up a significant part of the population of small islands, and a new initiative, "Youth Visioning for Island Living," facilitated by UNESCO's Section for Youth and UNESCO's Coastal Regions & Small Island Platform, is aiming to give young people on small islands the opportunity to articulate how they want their islands to develop in the future and how they plan to help make this happen. The Youth Visioning for Island Living initiative is organized around three broad themes:

• Life and love in islands ? maintaining island lifestyles and culture; • My island home ? safeguarding island environments; • Money in my pocket ? creating economic and employment opportunities for youth on small islands.

In association with the international meeting in Mauritius, small island youths will meet from 7-12 January to (1) discuss their concerns as well as participate in debates and side events, (2) share information about ongoing and planned activities, and (3) shape their vision, backed up by specific proposals, for future implementation. Their outcomes will be presented to the main international meeting.

In support of these Youth Visioning activities, the United Nations Cyberschoolbus and UNESCO are sponsoring the 2004 Youth Visioning for Island Living Art Contest to give young people the opportunity to convey their vision of how they want their islands to develop. The contest is open to students living on small islands who are currently enrolled in Primary School (9 years old and up), Intermediate School, and Secondary School, as well as young people aged 23 or less who are living on small islands but are not in school. Entry forms can be obtained at http://www.cyberschoolbus.un.org/ or http://www.islandyouth.org/. Winning entries will be displayed on both these websites as well as at the Mauritius conference.

DEADLINE: Entries for the 2004 Youth Visioning for Island Living Poster Contest must be postmarked by 31 October 2004.

About the United Nations Cyberschoolbus

The United Nations Cyberschoolbus is an online education component of the Department of Public Information's Outreach Division. Its mission is to develop educational materials for primary, intermediate, and secondary schools around the world that promote cultural understanding, tolerance, human rights, sustainable development, and peace. In addition to providing basic information about issues on the UN's agenda, this educational initiative seeks to build an global online community where teachers and students can voice opinions and share information on these topics, to create opportunities for students to participate in finding solutions to global problems, and to make these issues and the UN more accessible to children and youth.

About UNESCO's Section for Youth

UNESCO's Section for Youth ( http://www.unesco.org/youth) works for and with youth, and communicates directly with young people through a wide network of youth associations and NGOs. It aims to increase the presence and participation of youth in UNESCO bodies, events and activities, integrate youth views and priorities in programme activities and partnerships, encourage member states to develop national youth policies, and disseminate information relating to youth.

About UNESCO's Coastal Regions & Small Islands Platform

UNESCO's Coastal Regions & Small Islands Platform promotes sustainable development in small islands and coastal regions. It initiated and manages Small Islands Voice ( http://www.smallislandsvoice.org), which has a strong young islanders component.

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