Blog: Make your voices heard*
That’s the message that Minister Ploumen gave to more than 20 young people who debated about the importance of “leaving no youth behind” and meaningful youth participation in the SDGs during the roundtable discussion.
The 2030 Agenda contains a great number of targets and indicators that relate to young people’s lives, says UN SG Envoy on Youth, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi. Connecting these targets will lead to an ‘invisible youth goal’, which can be monitored and tracked. This observation is very much in line with the Action Agenda #SDGs4youth, which was endorsed by over 90 organisations around the world. Ms. Naba Khan—youth activist from Pakistan—visualised the Action Agenda by sharing the example of a gay friend who is discriminated by his own family, and faces barriers in accessing health services and education. According to Naba:
"Young people are diverse, and while their rights are universal, they have different needs that need to be catered for. "
Diversity amongst young people makes their meaningful participation within the 2030 Agenda even more fundamental, as a right in itself and so as to generate effective policies and programmes. This means that young people need to be involved in designing their school curriculum or health services, as Mr. Kelvin Mokaya—youth advocate from Kenya—explained vividly. Mr. Mokaya’s assertions were supported strongly by Ms. Sara Oviedo—vice-chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child—who is committed to making the realities of adolescents more visible.
The lively debate between young people, Minister Ploumen and representatives from the Permanent Mission of Zambia, UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO resulted in strong support to enable young people’s participation at all levels, and bring their realities to the table. It is, as Dalia Marquez – youth advocate from Venezuela - emphasised, their right!
The Right Here, Right Now Strategic Partnership is committed to following through with the outcomes of the debate, and ensuring that conclusions are taken forward within national, regional and global SDG implementation and review processes.
* This blog was prepared by Rineke van Dam, Advocacy Officer of Rutgers, and member of the International Advocacy Working Group of the Right Here, Right Now Strategic Partnership.
Catalysing Change: Young People at the Heart of the SDGs (A Roundtable Discussion)
For the occasion of the High-level Political Forum 2016, Rutgers, LACWHN, ARROW, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, dance4life, IPPF Africa Region, HIVOS, and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN co-organised a strategic roundtable discussion on young people. At the roundtable, young people, government and UN representatives gathered to tackle matters that affect young people (and their futures), and brainstorm on how to enable young people's meaningful participation on SDG implementation, and progress monitoring. The roundtable discussion took place at the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN in New York last Monday, 18 July 2016. It was facilitated by Rutgers CEO, Ton Coenen. Speakers include: H.E. Ms. Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands; Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, UN SG Envoy on Youth; Ms. Sara Oviedo Fierro, Vice-Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child; and Youth representatives from Kenya, Pakistan and Colombia.
Read #SDGs4youth action agenda (endorsed by 93 organisations)