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Declaration of Principles by Youth for Youth

November 14, 2017

For over 30 years, IRI has helped engage young people in peaceful political participation. Civically engaged youth stimulate economic growth, democracy, and economic prosperity.

However, governments around the world struggle with efficiently engaging youth and addressing their needs, which can lead to violence, instability and migration.

Harnessing IRI's years of experience and understanding that youth, more than ever, are inspired by creating meaningful change and economic prosperity, IRI launched Generation Democracy in 2015.

The Generation Democracy movement started with youth leaders coming together in Dakar, Senegal, and now is a global network with over 400 young members across 70 countries.

From September 8- 10, 39 Generation Democracy members from 35 countries came together to exchange ideas and identify barriers to youth political participation. During this convention, they mapped key strategies to catalyze youth engagement and created a statement of principles known as the Vienna Declaration.

The Vienna Declaration was created through a participatory process, driven by youth, and designed for youth, to sustain momentum, and build solidarity among young leaders who believe they can shape the future of their countries one vote at a time.

The Declaration was not the only idea that came out of the global conference.  The Vienna Summit also produced the launch of Generation Democracy’s #NoVoteNoVoice campaign— a global call to action for youth to encourage their peers to participate in the democratic process.

#NoVoteNoVoice has already seen success in different locations around the globe. Mantate, a young activist from Zimbabwe, has been knocking on doors, and recruiting volunteers to ensure youth turn out to register to vote ahead of the 2018 elections. Elvira Kalmurzaeva, a 26-year-old former OSCE Youth Ambassador and the Speaker of the Kyrgyz Youth Parliament, is working to ensure that persons with disabilities, and marginalized communities also register and exercise their right to vote to ensure their voice is heard.

To learn more about #NoVoteNoVoice follow the conversation on Twitter and watch the video below.

About Generation Democracy

Generation Democracy is a global coalition of nearly 400 youth organizations and members from 70 countries dedicated to empowering young people to participate in political and governing processes.

We facilitate the exchange of ideas, experiences and best practices across the world to ensure that youth have a stronger voice in decision-making. Through our network, young people are building the leadership skills needed to become the next generation of democratic actors in their communities and countries, leading to more robust and youth-friendly policies. Generation Democracy is made possible through the support of the National Endowment for Democracy. 

The generous support of individuals and corporations enable IRI staff and volunteers to carry out its mission around the world. With your help, IRI will continue its mission of hope for decades to come.

IRI is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax deductible

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