Following several months of toil Johannesburg has bagged the global One Young World Youth Summit in 2013..
The city was shortlisted as a contender for the role of host along with Pittsburgh in the US, but both locations came up trumps. Pittsburgh is going to host the 2012 conference and Johannesburg is going to take the reins in 2013.
“We’re thrilled, delighted and ecstatic,” expressed the CEO of the Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC), Lindiwe Kwele, who attended the final event of the 2011 summit in Zurich when the announcement was made.
The JTC was responsible for presenting Johannesburg’s bid. “JTC’s conference and events bureau team has devoted a great deal of effort bidding for One Young World, and we are extremely excited to be bringing this high profile event to Joburg in two years’ time,” said Kwele.
Young leaders getting together
One Young World is a platform for today’s young leaders, with the main objective of connecting the smartest young thinkers with those in power, as a consequence making certain that their concerns and opinions are given serious attention.
Global leaders in a variety of fields, including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, musician Bob Geldof and former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan support the summit and act as counsellors to delegates. Tutu was a speaker at this year’s event, as was British chef Jamie Oliver.
The inaugral summit was held in London in 2010, when 823 delegates from 112 countries joined together to debate the concerns facing young people of today. Zurich hosted this year’s conference from 1 to 4 September, with approximately 1 200 delegates from 170 countries.
“Clinching the event for Johannesburg and Africa is extremely significant on so many levels,” Kwele said.
“Africa is considered the continent containing the most significant proportion of youth (20%) – as a demographic component of the population – and it would be significant to host this event on a continent which numerous young adults call home and that provides so many opportunities and challenges.”
Addressing contemprary issues
At the first conference six resolutions were tabled as the most pressing contemporary issues. These were, and remain:
- Political leaders to make clear their stances on humanitarian issues;
- Global business to define and act on their role in the fight against poverty;
- Leaders and followers of all faiths to commit to delivering peace among all nations, races and creeds;
- Media to use its influence to help protect truth and personal freedom;
- Governments to take more legislative action to guarantee that carbon emissions reduction targets are agreed on and met by 2020; and
- Businesses, governments and civil society to work together to prioritise health care and nutrition.
“What One Young World really is, is a remarkable network of remarkable shared accountability, a scarce and completely unique platform to interact with the world’s youth about what matters now, and what will matter the most, tomorrow,” said Catherine Peter, the Africa director of One Young World.
The chance to host the summit in Johannesburg would present the platform to share ideas on the value of developing young adults into future leaders, learning from both developing and developed countries, Kwele said.
On the announcement of the winners, One Young World co-founder David Jones, an advertising guru, said: “We received amazing bids from superb cities and Johannesburg is a true global icon, a city that has shown it can handle world events with style and exuberance.
“We are thrilled that the city will be our host for the One Young World summit 2013.”
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