“Mā te huruhuru ka rere te manu | Adorn the bird with feathers so it may soar”
Aotearoa Youth Declaration (AYD) is one of UN Youth’s flagship conferences - aiming to provide rangatahi with both the opportunity to be heard and the tools to make change in their communities. Alongside the four day conference held in Tāmaki Makaurau in April, AYD 2024 will include seven Regional Hui all over the country - ensuring that the greatest possible number of young people have their voices heard.
Each April, participants aged 13-18 (Years 9-13) from all over Aotearoa come together to write a policy document called the Youth Declaration. During the conference, participants work in targeted Rōpū (committee groups) to create policy solutions on a broad range of problems - from climate change to the cost of living and everywhere in between. Each Rōpū examines current issues in Aotearoa and then contributes a solution - written in the Youth Declaration. The Youth Declaration is passed on to decision-makers (MPs, local Councils and Boards, and influential people) to help them decide the future of Aotearoa. Full Rōpū descriptions can be found here.
Participants leave the conference with new skills, perspectives and networks - ready to make change in their communities. High School students from across New Zealand are invited to seize this exciting opportunity to develop their skills and make an impact.
The committee recognises the barriers to attendance at these types of events, and are offering a variety of scholarships.
The Committee Scholarship, which waives the conference fee.
The Travel Scholarship, which assists with the cost of travel to and from Auckland.
The Regional Delegation Scholarship, which waives the Regional Delegation fee.
Additionally, participants from outside of Auckland are invited to apply for Regional Delegation. This programme complements our Regional Hui, ensuring that a diverse range of youth voices from all over Aotearoa are heard in the Youth Declaration.
Run by a dedicated team of volunteers, Regional Delegation provides supervision outside of conference hours, breakfast, dinner, and four nights accommodation to ensure participants’ time at AYD is as safe, exciting and comfortable as possible. RD this year will be hosted at a hostel in Auckland Central, within walking distance of the conference.
Regional Delegation applications are open to all participants from outside of Tāmaki Makaurau, from years 9-13. We especially encourage you to apply for RD if you would otherwise not be able to attend the conference without it.
If you have any questions about the conference or the participant application process, please contact Ben Hawke at [email protected]
What is UNYouth?
UN Youth is a non-profit organisation focused on providing civics education beyond traditional classrooms. We involve youth in critical national and international affairs through immersive workshops and conferences. We aim to inspire young New Zealanders to be active, global citizens. Global citizenship takes diverse forms, and UN Youth offers opportunities for delegates to develop their own active citizenship style.
Our work equips young people throughout Aotearoa to become informed, engaged, and critical New Zealanders, understanding their global context and the links between local and global scales. Annually, over 3000 young New Zealanders attend UN Youth events, run by more than 150 volunteers across the country - dedicating many hours to engaging youth and growing the organisation.