Who we are
The Tunza Youth Advisory Council (TYAC) was launched in February 1999 at the 20th Session of the UNEP Governing Council.
The Council comprises 14 Advisors, two per UNEP region and two indigenous youth representatives. Members of the Advisory Council are elected at the Tunza International Youth Conference to serve for a period of two years.
The Council advises UNEP on better ways of engaging young people in its work and represents youth in international environmental negotiations.
The Council also seeks to increase youth involvement in UNEP's work by informing youth groups in the regions about UNEP's programmes for young people.
- Current Council
Mandate & Guidelines
UNEP/GC.22/3/Add.1/Rev.1: Long-term strategy on engagement and involvement of young people in environmental issues.
The Tunza Youth Advisory Council (TYAC) is meant to comprise up to 7 Advisors (one for each of the 6 UNEP regions plus one representative of indigenous youth) Each Advisor has an Alternate Advisor. The Council advises UNEP on better ways of engaging young people in its work and represents young people in international environmental fora. The Council also seeks to increase youth involvement in UNEP's work by informing youth groups in their regions about UNEP's programmes for young people. Members of the Advisory Council are elected at each Tunza International Youth Conference to serve for a period of approximately two years.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBERS
Assist UNEP (including UNEP Regional Offices) on better ways of engaging young people by:
- advising UNEP on the development of programmes, events and publications for young people, and the UNEP's youth strategy;
- advising UNEP on the perspectives of young people on issues of sustainable development.
Promote youth engagement with UNEP by:
- informing young people about, and facilitating participation in, UNEP's programmes, events and publications for young people (including helping organize the programme the UNEP Tunza International Youth Conference and the UNEP Tunza Global Youth Gathering), and the implementation of the Tunza youth strategy;
- informing young people about, and facilitating participation in, UNEP's wider activities and policies.
Facilitate youth input in local, national, regional and international environmental fora by:
- advocating for the views and activities of young people at local, national, regional and international environmental fora (including both regular and special sessions of the UNEP Governing Council, UNEP Tunza International Youth Conference and UNEP Tunza International Youth Gathering).
Contribute to the development of UNEP's publications by:
- making suggestions on, and contributions to, the development of the Tunza Magazine;
- promoting the use of Tunza: Acting for a Better World;
- participating in the development of the GEO-for-Youth in their region.
Upon the completion of his/her mandate, provide a detailed briefing to his/her successors and provide further advice as may be necessary.
The Council may from time to time establish Communication Guidelines to facilitate the fulfillment of these responsibilities. These Guidelines may prescribe additional, binding communications requirements and should be treated as an extension of these Terms of Reference.
Each Advisor will provide, on a quarterly basis, a report detailing his / her efforts in fulfilling these responsibilities. These reports will be sent to the Children and Youth Unit and relevant UNEP Regional Offices.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF UNEP
Provide Tunza Youth Advisors with the required opportunities, information (environmental and otherwise) and funding (as available), and assist in building their skills (eg in areas of fundraising, working with the media, participating in intergovernmental meetings), to fully and effectively fulfill their responsibilities, as outlined above.
Formally introduce the new TYAC members to each Regional Directors and relevant youth focal points in UNEP.
Maintain regular contact from Headquarters and Regional Offices with Tunza Youth Advisors, keeping them informed of relevant developments (environmental and otherwise).
Provide the TYAC with letterheads and ID cards to enable them to be identified as members of the UNEP TYAC.
All delegates to the Tunza International Youth Conference are eligible to be nominated for the positions of Tunza Youth Advisor or Tunza Associate Youth Advisor if they satisfy the following criteria.
At the time of election, nominees must not be younger than 18 years old and must not have celebrated their 23rd birthday.
Participants are only eligible for nomination in the region where they reside.
Nominees must be members of a youth environmental organizations.
Nominees must have good communication skills in English and have access to, and be reasonably proficient in, worldwide communication technology.
Advisors will serve for a maximum of one term of two years, provided they fulfill all eligibility requirements. Only Alternate Advisors will be eligible to run for a second mandate. The title of Tunza Youth Advisors is limited to the period of their service.
ELECTION OF MEMBERS
Relevant information regarding the Tunza Youth Advisory Council will be made available to all participants of the UNEP Tunza International Youth Conference. Applicants will publicly declare their candidacy and present themselves.
Advisors and Alternates will be elected in a plenary session to be held towards the end of the Conference. UNEP will encourage participants to aim for gender, age and geographic / cultural diversity.
In keeping with UN Practice, the vote will be conducted on the principle “One country, One vote”. A maximum of two candidates will be allowed for each country. In the case of the country hosting the Tunza Youth Conference, a preliminary secret ballot will be held to determine its own two candidates.
The top candidate in each region will be confirmed as the Advisor, with the next top confirmed as Alternate. The participants will vote for one representative from the indigenous youth and an alternate.
An induction ceremony will be organized for the new Council at the end of the conference, with a public commitment and the signing of a personal pledge made by each new member.
If there are not enough candidates to fill all Advisor positions, vacancies may instead be filled by a vote of the other TYAC members after considering applications that they have solicited through their networks and from the relevant UNEP Regional Office. Alternate Advisor roles may be left unfilled.
REMOVAL AND RETIREMENT OF MEMBERS
If an Advisor resigns, or if an Advisor does not satisfactorily fulfil his / her responsibilities (including remaining in contact with both UNEP and TYAC) for a period of three months without a reasonable explanation, the TYAC may vote to remove that member and replace him / her with the Alternate who received the next highest amount of votes at the UNEP Tunza International Youth Conference where they were elected. If there are no remaining active Alternate to fill a vacancy, it may instead be filled by a vote of the TYAC after considering applications that they have solicited through their networks and from the relevant UNEP Regional Office. Priority will be given to considering applications from participants from the most recent Tunza International Youth Conference who had previously been nominated.
After successfully completing service with the Council, Advisors shall continue to subscribe in the UNEP Youth Network and shall receive certificates of performance
Whenever the Tunza Youth Advisory Council has to vote, each Advisor will have one vote. Alternate Advisors are not eligible to vote.
CHANGES TO THESE GUIDELINES
Changes to these guidelines can only be made by UNEP. Suggestions from members of the Tunza Youth Advisory Council can be made to UNEP for internal review.