Restless Development has welcomed the UK Labour Party’s inclusion of a youth representative on its new International Development Task Force.
The task force will advise Labour on the party’s approach to international development, producing a paper that sets out a strategic approach to tackling global poverty, inequality and climate change.
Valerie Brese, who volunteered with Restless Development on the International Citizen Service (ICS) programme, will take on the role of youth representative.
The group forms a key strand of the party’s ambition to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Valerie studied Social Policy with Government at the London School of Economics and has been a social researcher for the Childhood Trust. Her ICS placement was in Tanzania, where she worked across issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as livelihoods, employability and civic participation.
Since returning to the UK, she has been a strong advocate for youth empowerment and currently works for LSE Residential Services.
She said: “We have nearly one billion young people all across the globe entering the job market in the next 10 years. Young people need jobs. We have teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs, youth activists and academic professors ready and eager to work. They want to build their nation for a better future. This is just one of many issues that I want to raise with the Labour Party. I hope to push young people to the very front of Labour's agenda and ensure that young people are included in every aspect of their vision."
Catriona Currie, Senior Campaigns Manager at Restless Development, added: “It’s fantastic to see the Labour Party take this important step towards ensuring young people are at the heart of their international development strategy. Restless Development will continue to work with the UK Labour party and all other political parties to ensure that young people have the power to lead their own development.”
Chaired by Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Kate Osamor, the task force will meet regularly between now and March 2018, at which point the final paper will be published.
The move was announced during a keynote speech made by the Shadow Secretary of State at an event in London on 2 November 2017.