The Pacific Youth Advisory Board on Governance- Call For Applications

Application is now open for two (2) members for the Pacific Youth Advisory Board on Governance. All youths (aged 18-35) of the Pacific Islands Forum member countries are eligible to apply.

A full concept note about the board and what it entails can be accessed here: Full Concept Note

APPLICATIONS FOR THE BOARD ARE OPEN: APPPLY

APPLICATION PROCESS(for open call for all PIF Members)

Members of the Youth Advisory Board will be selected by a panel of experts from PIFS, USP and UNDP Pacific Office. Applicants must be:

  • Aged between 18 and 35 years.
  • A citizen of a Pacific Island Forum Member Country.
  • Fluent in English and where relevant a local language.
  • Experienced (at least two years) in working on or engaged with governance issues such as integrity, anti-corruption and right to information.

Applicants should submit a completed Application Form together with the following:

  1. Their curriculum vitae.
  2. Either a three-minute video or a two-page (maximum) letter outlining:
  • Why they want to be a member of the Youth Advisory Board.
  • Their experience in governance and how their skills can contribute to the Youth Advisory Board.
  • Any affiliations with CSOs, alliances and networks in the region, and related community work on governance.
  • Their vision for governance in the region especially in the context of the Teieniwa Vision and the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy.
  • Their expectations of what they will gain from participation in the Youth Advisory Board.

Applications will be accepted on rolling basis but must be submitted by midnight 23rd November 2022 (Fiji time).

INTRODUCTION

This Concept Note outlines how the successes of the existing strategic partnership between the University of the South Pacific Students’ Association (USPSA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office can be developed, leveraged and institutionalized to facilitate dialogue with and between young people and regional political and administrative bodies and inform national and regional policy discussions regarding promotion of good governance, with focus on integrity, anti-corruption and the right to information among other values of governance through inter-governmental bodies such as the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).

BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE

With half the Pacific region’s population aged under 23, young people will affect every aspect of development in coming decades and winning the fight against corruption, which remains an issue of critical concern in the Pacific region, hindering sustainable development and threatening peace, security and stability, depends on harnessing this demographic dividend.

In 2021, USPSA established a strategic partnership with UNDP Pacific Office to enhance integrity, anti-corruption and right to information awareness and advocacy across the region. The initiative, which focuses on international and regional anti-corruption commitments such as the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and the Teieniwa – Pacific Unity Against Corruption Vision has been supported both by the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project (UN-PRAC), funded by the Government of New Zealand, and the Strengthening Anticorruption, Transparency and Accountability in Pacific Island Countries (Pacific Anti-Corruption Project), funded by the UK Government.

On 7 December 2021, one early high point of this partnership saw USPSA organizing and hosting the Pacific Youth Summit as part of celebrations associated with International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) on 9 December. The unprecedented hybrid online and in-person event, entitled ‘The Values of Integrity for the Achievement of Sustainable Development: Resilient Youth Leaders: Drivers of Sustainable Development’, brought together over 5,000 youth leaders, students and professionals (estimated 60 percent female) from 12 Pacific countries (Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) to discuss the importance of integrity and stronger youth action on anti-corruption, transparency, and accountability towards progress on the sustainable development agenda.

As well as engaging a significant number of young people from across the region, the Summit forged multi-stakeholder partnerships at the highest levels between USPSA, UNDP Pacific Office, PIFS, New Zealand High Commission in Fiji, U.S. Embassy in Suva Youth Council, Chambers of Commerce of Fiji, Samoa, Palau, Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption (FICAC), UNDP Bangkok Regional Centre, and Freedom House. A second Pacific Youth Summit is being organized for October 2022, with the expected attendance of various leaders from the region.

Subsequently, alongside a ground-breaking series of activities with Pacific youth, including outreach via surveys, creative arts, workshops, video production, and digital prototyping hackathons, a second high point of the partnership saw USPSA initiating and organizing the Pacific Regional Leaders Dialogue, entitled ‘Advancing the Right to Information to Improve Governance and Fight Corruption’, on 26 May 2022. The event brought more than 800 young people together with high level national and regional political representatives to discuss the benefits of the right to information, generate ideas to strengthen the fight against corruption, and highlight the vital role young people can play in accelerating progress. The event set new standards for giving youth voice in the region and access to the highest levels of political leadership, including PIFS.

The event was widely covered across the Pacific region in live, print, and online media, and the Acting Secretary-General of PIFS, Dr Filimon Manoni, pledged continued commitment to work with youth and all strategic partners of the Pacific Youth Summit to advance the Teieniwa Pacific Unity against Corruption Vision and the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.

As a result of these activities, the voice and anti-corruption concerns of young people from across the Pacific are finding a new and receptive audience among national and regional leaders. Capitalizing on this unprecedented development, and with the aim of inspiring further demand and articulating and enabling increased informed and positive anti-corruption engagement, the Pacific youth movement seeks to develop into a structured body through the creation of a Regional Youth Advisory Board on Governance, which will work with PIFS to advance the governance agenda.

The Youth Advisory Board aims to reaffirm young people’s connection with the region’s resources and cultures and recognize the importance of collaborative and cooperative work to support and strengthen institutions and promote the values of governance, transparency and accountability for a just, fairer and more equitable Blue Pacific Continent.

  • EXPECTATIONS

The Youth Advisory Board, based at USPSA which will serve as its secretariat, will articulate, promote and enable the influence and impact of the voice of young people across the Pacific regarding governance, particularly concerning integrity, anti-corruption and the right to information. It will engage in a range of advocacy activities with a diverse set of stakeholders, including CSOs, women, students and other young people, to promote the Teieniwa Pacific Unity against Corruption Vision and the governance component of the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy with the aim of supporting and promoting well-functioning institutions with a high level of integrity to ensure that no one is left behind.

The Board will ensure regular dialogue, engagement and interactions between young people, including students, and national and regional bodies, including PIFS and the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP), to advance the concerns of young people and facilitate youth-led activities regarding integrity, anti-corruption and the right to information, and strengthen Forum solidarity and Pacific youth voice as the basis for the region’s international partnerships.

In addition, it will strengthen the inclusion and sustained involvement of non-state actors, including media, academic, community and faith-based organizations, along with enhanced engagement of development partners to support the enhancement and safeguarding of governance across the Blue Pacific Continent.

OBJECTIVES AND KEY FUNCTIONS

The aim of the Youth Advisory Board is to work with in partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) to further scale up strategic youth engagement on governance in support of the Teieniwa Vision and the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy. The Board will engage regionally at the policy level via dialogues, events and advocacy.

Objectives include:

  • Improving knowledge of the importance of integrity and stronger youth action on anti-corruption, transparency, and accountability to achieve progress on the sustainable development agenda in the Pacific.
  • Improving knowledge about the indivisibility and the linkages between the SDGs, including between SDG 16 on governance and a prosperous future for all.
  • Improving knowledge that the business sector can only be sustainable and provide opportunities for growth if it is grounded on the values of integrity.
  • Promoting and facilitating vibrant dialogue about the important role of youth in bringing policy issues forward and providing a critical link between development and governance.
  • Developing a new coalition of emerging young leaders able to respond to unique Pacific challenges and contribute to achievement of Agenda 2030 and the SDGs with integrity, resilience and innovative thinking.

Key functions include:

  • Representing the voices and concerns of young people in PIF Member States regarding governance.
  • Engaging with stakeholders including CSOs, students, women and young people across the region to promote the Teieniwa Vision and the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy.
  • Identifying governance challenges and opportunities regarding integrity, anti-corruption and right to information in national, sub-regional and regional contexts.
  • Working collaboratively with the USPSA Secretariat.
  • Supporting the visibility and outreach of PIF’s governance programmes and activities.
  • Facilitating and organizing regional conferences and events as a means of public advocacy.
  • Contributing to the organization of the Pacific Youth Summit to sustain it as a regular event and promote visibility of the Board’s activities.
  • Giving voice to young people regarding improved policy dialogue and representation in high-level discussions and leadership decisions.
  • Contributing to awareness and advocacy activities related to governance and right to information led by UNDP and other partners.

FEATURES OF THE YOUTH ADVISORY BOARD

The Youth Advisory Board will be composed of nine members aged between 18 and 35 from diverse backgrounds who will initially serve for a period of two years. Members will be expected to be available when required by the Secretariat Body.

Two members (one male and one female) will be nominated by each of three sub-regional organizations, namely the Melanesian Spearhead Group, the Micronesian Presidents’ Summit, and the Polynesian Leaders Group. One youth nominated by PIFS.

Two further members will be selected via an open call from across the Pacific Islands with strategic outreach to CSOs, alliances and networks in all PIF member countries. The application process is given below.

Selection of members will ensure gender and sub-regional balance. Applications from marginalized groups (e.g. women, indigenous, rural, minority and migrated communities, and those living with disabilities) are encouraged. To ensure the inclusion of members from marginalized groups, variations in the criteria specified in section VI (Application Process) may be allowed to offset historical and structural factors.

  • STRATEGIC PARTHERSHIPS AND SUSTAINABILITY

The establishment of the Youth Advisory Board on Governance is led by the University of South Pacific Students Association and is supported by UNDP Pacific Office through the Strengthening Anticorruption, Transparency and Accountability in Pacific Island Countries (Pacific Anti-Corruption Project), funded by the UK Government and the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project (UN-PRAC), funded by the Government of New Zealand.  The Youth Advisory Board on Governance will be managed and sustained by USPSA and will regularly collaborate with PIFS to enhance work around  governance and the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy.

[Launch of the Board is expected to take place on 30 November 2022 in Apia, Samoa]

[1] This does not apply to those being nominated from sub-regional groupings and those by PIFS.

[2] PIF comprises 18 members: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

[Questions/Clarifications: Email- uspsa.projects@usp.ac.fj or uspsa.admin@usp.ac.fj]