On July 18th, 2013 two interns from Peace Boat US, Helen Hope Rolfe and I (Michelle) attended a Briefing on “BYND 2015 Global Youth Summit” an event which will take place in San José, Costa Rica on 9–11 September 2013. The briefing was organized by the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica, in conjunction with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The ITU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs. We allocate global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develop the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strive to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.ITU is committed to connecting all the world’s people – wherever they live and whatever their means. Through our work, we protect and support everyone’s fundamental right to communicate. ITU is dedicated to the development of information and communication technology and furthermore the commitment to spread the word. ICT is most important tool to express responsibilities and human rights. ITU is also meant to build up through crowdsourcing and online engagement.

The (BYND) Broad Youth Network Development Global Youth Summit is being hosted by the Government of Costa Rica, and organized by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) with other partnerships from the UN, as well as partnerships from the media and civil society. The summit in Costa Rica will bring young people from around the world together – physically as well as virtually – to participate in a series of workshops, conversations and presentations on how technology can be used to strive for social good. Working with young people is the key element to the success of the summit since the younger generation has the ability of impacting the majority of the population. Young people often share common basic characteristics such as language, ethnic diversity, values and most importantly aspirations that increase the betterment of the world. One of the main goals of the Global Youth Summit is to take the messages of young people with a view of highlighting their priorities and capturing their combined voice in creating crucial national and international policy and decision making processes. Ultimately and hopefully this will push for the international agenda of advancing the Millennium Development Goals 2015.

The Global Youth Summit’s “WOW” factor is that it is NOT a typical UN event with long drawn out speeches. It is designed to be a dynamic and interactive workshop format with the extensive use of ICT to extend reach beyond Summit walls. It gives youth the opportunity to tell world leaders how they want their world to be because democracy is not about being able to vote every four years; it is about being actively engaged and involved in day to day issues. Youth ages between 18-25 are change makers, innovators, entrepreneurs who are committed to social good and seeking to make an indelible difference in the world.

For more information about BYND 2015 Global Youth Summit, please visit:www.itu.int/bynd2015