This year, the Youth Parliament to the Alpine Convention (YPAC) celebrated its 15th edition – a tribute to the tireless engagement of younger generations to have their voices heard in political processes. The Youth Parliament also shows the value of promoting international cooperation, as ten schools from seven different Alpine countries are represented.
From the 23rd to the 26th of March 2021, pupils from these different schools came together digitally to debate and discuss current issues in the Alpine context. The topic for this year’s Youth Parliament was children's rights, a topic both directly relevant to the delegates as well as timely given the current global health situation.
During their General Assembly, the YPAC delegates adopted eight resolutions covering several important topics for young people. The resolutions include solutions to motivate and involve youth in politics by lowering the voting age to 16 and involving members of youth councils in local parliaments.
Ensuring more inclusiveness for children with physical disabilities is another important resolution and the young delegates call, for example, for improving the accessibility of playgrounds. The YPAC delegates further demand better solutions to support children suffering from mental health issues.
The delegates also voted for more openness towards different religions as well as for increasing awareness and acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children.
The Youth Parliament demonstrates the commitment of young people to not only voice their opinions in politics but to have these opinions heard. We congratulate the delegates, the YPAC organisers, teachers, schools, funders and everyone else whose hard work and commitment made the first digital YPAC both possible and a success!
“The Youth Parliament embodies the incredible diversity that is one of the great strengths of the Alpine space. It is further proof that building partnerships between people from different linguistic areas is both possible and desirable.”
– Alenka Smerkolj, Secretary General of the Alpine Convention