New York, August 16, 2012
Last week over 40 participants representing youth-led organizations, CSOs, UN, private sector and academia met for two days in New York to coordinate and harmonize their efforts to enhance child and youth participation in the formulation of the agenda that will succeed the MDGs after 2015.
The meeting –organized by the UN Millennium Campaign in collaboration with the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development, the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service, CIVICUS, GCAP and the Beyond 2015 campaign– counted with the presence of Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for Post-2015 Development Planning.
Liana Manusajyan, a youth representative from Armenia, opened the meeting. “I am asking you to lift the barriers to children and youth participation,” she said. “Because we need your help and we offer you our help in return.” Rajiv Joshi, Global Call to End Poverty at the opening said “Our planet stand upon a precipice and people around the world, particularly women and young people are facing growing inequality, poverty and injustice. Next month over 150 young leaders and over 800 delegates will meet at the CIVICUS Youth Assembly and World Assembly in Montreal do build a vision of the World We Want and define a new social contract for people and the planet. As World Leaders craft the Post 2015 Development Agenda, we call for a future framework that is build upon the voices of citizens around, particularly young people who are in the forefront of changing their nations and the world"
The multi-stakeholder working session was conceived to facilitate partnerships between different stakeholders, to design a children- and youth-led engagement strategy, to develop follow-up mechanisms to enhance their engagement in this process, and to mobilize resources from donors.
Speaking at the session Amina J. Mohammed, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General in Post-2015 Development Planning said “Youth participation is fundamental for the post-2015 agenda. Their vision and energy will be needed to do the heavy lifting in its implementation.”
Throughout the first day, a common understanding of ongoing processes and efforts was strategically established and participants were able to hear from each other about their work on the post-2015 front. UN agencies reinforced their commitment to support the national, thematic and online consultative processes. Child and Youth-led society organizations such as Restless Development, WAGS, Scouts, YMCA, CIVICUS Youth Assembly and others also had the opportunity to share their work and create synergies that will provide them a truly global reach in order to move forward children and youth participation.
Throughout the second day, participants engaged in strategic thinking, focusing on the enhancement of girl and young women’s participation, and paying special attention to ways to breech the digital divide and guarantee an inclusive use of social media and ICTs with marginalized children and young people.
Despite its considerable size, the group managed to formulate concrete recommendations for children and youth engagement in the national, thematic, High Level Panel and online tracks of this process. Their joint commitment to participation will be guided by the fundamental principles of gender equality, protection, accountability and non-discrimination.
Some of key recommendations from the group were:
1.) A Call For A Child-Youth Declaration On Post-2015 (to be developed through a youth-led and bottom up process in the coming months, this will be presented to the high level panel on post-2015).
2. Working Draft of an outreach strategy on strengthening child and youth engagement in post-2015 including a component social-media with children and youth.
3.Identified a list of key tools for strengthening child and youth engagement in post-2015:
The meeting resulted in setting up of a multi-stakeholders support group on child and youth engagement in post-2015 and participants also discussed follow up plans after the year 2015. The need for the continuation of organising partners such as the UN Inter-agency Network on Youth Development, Beyond-2015, NGLS, GCAP, Child Focused Organisations, UNMC, was reiterated and the meeting also discussed a proposal for a Global Meeting on “Youth Engagement in Post-2015” in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
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