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Global youth leaders gather in Manila for Y-PEER meeting

RH, youth role in revolutions on agenda

Reproductive health and the role of young people in the recent revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests in Arab countries will be highlighted when youth leaders from 40 countries in Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific gather in Manila next week for the annual meeting of the Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) Global Advisory Board.

The annual meeting, hosted by the United Nations Population Fund from October 3 to 8 at the New World Hotel in Makati City, is the premiere gathering of Y-PEER international coordinators, focal points in-charge, alumni board members, celebrity advocates and partners to share experiences and discuss issues affecting young people worldwide today.

With this year’s meeting taking place in the Philippines, discussion on adolescent sexual and reproductive health rights is expected to take a more dynamic exchange, considering the ongoing deliberations of the RH bill in the Philippine Congress. Sexual and reproductive health and rights, along with HIV and AIDS and access to youth friendly services, is also an urgent issue in other Asia Pacific countries.

Meanwhile, the force of young people has been recognized as a crucial element in the Arab Spring – the uprisings that have been taking place in many Arab countries since last year. The youth involvement included civil resistance, demonstrations, marches and the use of social media to organize, communicate and raise awareness on the local issues.

Y-PEER, a groundbreaking and comprehensive youth-to-youth initiative pioneered by UNFPA, is a network of more than 500 non-profit organizations and government institutions whose members include thousands of young people who work on the many aspects of adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

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