Monday, June 3, 2013

Office of Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth's 8 Recommendations to Incorporate Young People and their Priorities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Based on the inputs of young people in the MyWorld2015 and World We Want online surveys, the national consultations, the Bali Declaration of the Global Youth Forum on ICPD Beyond 2014, the Rio+20 Youth Blast, the Sierra-Leone Regional Youth Development Declaration Summit on Post 2015 Agenda, and after consultations with the relevant UN organizations and entities, the following is a set of recommendations to incorporate the human rights and development priorities of young people in a sustainable development framework which seeks to address development challenges for the current as well as the future generations:
1. Youth Participation and Empowerment
Recommendation: Young people expect the establishment and strengthening of institutional mechanisms that allow for meaningful youth participation in decision-making, particularly for those most marginalized, ensuring young people have access to the information they need to exercise their human rights, and strengthening the capacities of youth-led organizations and networks in order to enable them to fulfil their potential as active and equal members of society.
2. Governance
Recommendation: Young people expect a firm commitment to democracy, justice, transparency, integrity and equal representation in all governance processes, in such a way that enables youth to participate in the process of national development, including creating access to opportunities for employment, innovation and shared wealth-creation.
3. Education
Recommendation: Young people should be engaged in the design, content and delivery of education to ensure that it is responsive to the real and current needs of those people to whom it is intended to benefit. Youth need access to quality, relevant education beyond primary education, which integrates life skills, vocational training, comprehensive sexual education, peace-building and sustainable development, promotes global citizenship and utilizes informal education methods.
4. Employment
Recommendation: Young people call on the elimination of challenges they are faced with as the largest unemployed portion of the global population and within the period of transition to integrate the work force, including difficulties to access employment and economic opportunities that encompass fair wages, possibilities for funding and mentorship, equal opportunities, job and social security, career development and training, as well as entrepreneurial and innovation skill development opportunities.
5. Health care
Recommendation: Young people, particularly adolescent girls, urgently need universal access to affordable, quality health care and youth-friendly health services, including sexual and reproductive health. Countries must aim to ensure that all adolescents enter adulthood with the highest attainable standard of health, without unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, unsafe deliveries, violence, sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, with a healthy weight and free of substance abuse.
6. Gender
Recommendation: Young people expect a firm commitment to ensuring equal and equitable representation of young women in politics, promoting girls’ access to secondary and higher education, and addressing harmful practices against young women and girls, including forced and child marriage, gender-based violence/discriminations and violence against women.
7. Inequalities
Recommendation: Young people expect a sustainable development approach which integrates education, human rights and youth participation to tackle the effects of inequalities in employment, governance, health and other areas of their roles in society, in a way that ensures young people are treated equally, regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and with special attention to youth with disabilities, youth in conflict zones, youth with HIV/AIDS and youth at risk.
8. Climate Change and Environment
Recommendation: Through concrete contributions and engagement in environmental protection efforts, young people as agents of change, durably influence the mindsets, attitudes and behaviour of their peers and communities. Provided with education on practical skills in disaster preparedness and adaptation to climate change, as well as on the potential consequences of climate change and global environmental degradation, youth can make sustainable choices with regards to consumption and lifestyles as well as green jobs. 

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