The third meeting of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons took place in Monrovia between all members of the HLP and seventy CSO representatives. The meeting took the format of a "town hall" event, where CSO members together with grassroots representatives shared evidence, perspectives, and recommendations on the topic of National Building Blocks for Sustained Prosperity and its sub-themes. This served as a framing conversation, also giving critical clarity to the vision and aspirations of ordinary citizens for the future.
This meeting has happened against backdrop of several youth consultations round the world since the second high level panel meeting in London. Two fundamental principles that underpinned the Youth Outreach HLP meeting in London was Inclusion of Young people who have the agency to be the banner carriers of the new agenda and Innovation that brings nuanced perspectives, fresh solutions and insights to persistent national and global challenges. There have been Country Youth Consultations, Online Engagement, National Dialogues, Beyond2015 Children and Youth Working Group, Online discussion on addressing inequalities faced by children and young people on worldwewant2015.org as well as regional youth declarations.
As noted by Prof. Gita Sen during the CSO pre consultative forum post 2015 HLP meeting , the post 2015 agenda should give special attention to the most vulnerable people in particular children, the youth and adolescents. The need for an inclusive framework where social inclusion and zero discrimination re key words can’t be overemphasized. But even focusing on vulnerabilities is crucially unfair. We need to look at people's ability more than their disability if the post 2015 framework is to make a difference. People must be considered in the light of their potential more than seeing them as a burden.
The HLP have to not only hear the voices of the voiceless but clearly articulate them in their recommendations to be presented in April to the UN Secretary General.
As the largest demographic bar none ,young people will be the difference between success and failure of any global commitments made and it is incumbent upon the HLP to gather evidence from grassroots youth, frame, articulate and deliberate on a clear vision for the future that is informed by our needs and aspirations, articulate and agree on key pillars of economic transformation, highlighting national building blocks for sustained wealth that provide the us with capacity to function, create a specific platform to voice our perspectives, and engage with us with a particular view to deliberate on an emerging youth Narrative that will inform the Monrovia HLP Consensus position.
Children and Youths visioning of post 2015
The HLP needs to consider developing a framework that addresses structural child poverty in various contexts and enables good governance and accountability around child rights and protection. In order for children to participate in the economic transformation the new framework must prioritize initiatives that promote quality education, health care, reproductive health, information, adequate nutrition, appropriate services for children living with disabilities and must ensure that national governments provide budgetary allocations and are held accountable for the protection of children from all forms of violation and exploitation.post 2015 agenda should consider access to safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene (WASH) as basic human rights that underpin health, education and livelihoods. The problems associated with lack of access to WASH impact on virtually all aspects of human development, disproportionately affecting the life chances of young people.
Youth unemployment considerably exacerbates the danger of major structural unemployment for many years to come. Unemployment is a huge inefficiency to both young people and to international society looked t in light of costs to governments, non state actors and lost potential wages. Youth as dispossessed constituency is a threat to sustainable economy leading to trigger for rising crime and social malfunction. There exists massive disparity of access between young women and adolescent girls for productive resources and prosperity enabler indicators.
A holistic international youth policies with national focus must therefore be founded on:
The provision of more and better education, including formal education, informal education and vocational trainings; active and dignified insertion of youth in the workplace ensuring them a good wage and jobs as part of a career path, as well as liberty, gender equality, and security; the provision of career centers, knowledge exchanging facilities among youth nationally and internationally by the establishment of youth workers union and social dialogue to facilitate a successful matching of labor demand and supply, to ensure successful programming and to foster youth hiring.
“Without young people’s ideas we the Panel would be missing the best hope for a successful set of goals. Bring us your ideas.” Graca Machel HLP November 2012.
Post MDGS should give power to children and youth to become Agents of Change
The post 2015 agenda must address the causes of structural and cyclical poverty among children in various contexts; good governance and accountability around child rights and protection; and enabling children to participate in economic transformation through initiatives that promote quality education for girls and boys, health care, sexual health, information, adequate nutrition, and services for children including those with disabilities or HIV, and protection of children from all forms of violence and exploitation including early and forced marriage.
In conclusion, the formwork must realize the potential of the demographic dividends through comprehensive youth policies that include provision of more and better education, support for young people to obtain decent and well/paid jobs, access to finance and knowledge to become innovators and entrepreneurs, as well as the ability of all young people, especially adolescents to obtain comprehensive sexuality education, and sexual and reproductive services, and to empower and resource girls to prevent teenage pregnancies and violence, and provide sensitization and training for boys to promote
gender equality and prevent violence.
If every voice truly counts and we’re to surely count every voice then the voice of children and youth have to be fashion the next set of global goals.
Willice Onyango is Chairperson of the International Youth Council Chapter in Kenya, a Children and Youth Working Group nominee to the Beyond 2015 Drafting Committee and Africa Youth Ambassador for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
She can be contacted via email@example.com