Last week there was a UK parliamentary debate in the House of Lords in London looking at what development framework should follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We’re delighted that our Patron, Baroness Jenkin of Kennington, had the opportunity to talk in the debate and put forward the argument for the inclusion of young people in the development process:
‘As we start to think about the successor framework to the MDGs, we must start to look at young people in a different way. They can no longer be viewed simply as beneficiaries of a new tranche of development assistance-still less as the problem. We must instead look at them as partners and leaders in the design and implementation of a new set of goals.’
Baroness Jenkin emphasised how important it was that the recent UN High-Level Panel Meeting in London included ‘for the first time in history, a session entirely dedicated to a dialogue with young people.’ This was also reiterated by Government Representative, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon who stated in his closing speech that ‘Our children and young people are vital in determining the MDG goals post-2015’ and stressed that ‘the young people’s meeting was crucial in hearing the particular perspective of youths.’
If you have been following our news in the last few weeks you’ll know that we’re making this issue a priority. Earlier this month, Restless Development and partners launched a toolkit that will be used to run a series of youth consultations in over 12 countries to ensure young people can have their say in this important discussion.
Baroness Jenkin also raised the need for a serious discussion about how best to build business that in turn can create ‘opportunities and jobs in both emerging and donor countries.’ We know that this is an area of debate that will ring true with many of our young participants in the High Level Panel Event who stressed the need for more focus on jobs and employment in the post-2015 framework.
If you want to read the full debate you can download it from the UK Parliament website here and if you want to join the conversation online please follow @YouthPost2015, #post2015 and #youthvoices. You can also join the facebook group here: http://www.facebook.com/YouthVoicesUN?fref=ts