Young people hold leaders to account at Nairobi Summit

A Global Consensus Statement on Youth-Led Accountability.

Today, Restless Development’s delegation in Nairobi will launch our Global Consensus Statement on Youth-Led Accountability at the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The consensus has been developed with a broad coalition of over 35 civil society organisations and a Youth Reference Group.

Why does ICPD matter?

The ICPD presents an important opportunity to inspire action, and to mobilise political will and financial commitments urgently needed to implement the ICPD Programme of Action that was adopted in 1994, and to meet Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets by 2030.

What is the consensus?

We are calling for funding and support for youth-led and youth-initiated mechanisms to hold decision makers to account for commitments first adopted in 1994 in Nairobi.

In practice, this means we are looking for all manner of organisations, including UN agencies, civil society organisations, funders and governments, to make concrete commitments to include young people in every stage of programme delivery and development, and strengthen young people’s ability to make sure programmes are accountable to the people they serve.

The consensus calls on leaders at ICPD to build open and independent online and offline platforms free from prejudice, as well as increase access to comprehensive, high-quality, and age-and-gender-disaggregated data on social development indicators at country, regional and global levels.

By giving young people access to platforms and data, they are able to identify trends in their communities, compare these with their first-hand experience and quickly identify issues to programme funders and organisers. 

The world cannot end preventable maternal deaths, gender-based violence, child marriage and female genital mutilation, or adress any other pressing issues without meaningful engagement with young people and youth civil society. That’s why our advocates from India, Tanzania, Uganda and the USA are at ICPD collecting commitments to the consensus.

What can you do?

If you believe, as we do, that young people’s voices should be at the forefront of development you can help us by amplifying our voice. Change only happens when we demand it and hold our leaders accountable. 

Below you can find a tweet that you can send to organisations and individuals that you think may be relevant (remember to tag them) to inform them of our statement and gain their support, or funding to ensure there are youth-led and youth-initiated mechanisms to hold decision-makers to account for their commitments made in Nairobi.

“We, young people, want to work with you to make the promises of the ICPD and SDGs a reality and are calling on you to commit to support #youthledaccountability.

Meet our youth advocates

Fatuma, 28, Tanzania

Fatuma is working at Lyamgungwe ward in Iringa District focusing on data collection and accountability on gender based violence, violence against children and youth-friendly reproductive health services.

Fatuma is working to help young people recognise the power they possess in engaging their communities and increasing awareness of sexual and reproductive health and rights leading to a reduction in early pregnancies, maternal death, infant mortality and unsafe abortions.

Rajshree, 27, India

Rajshree is a youth accountability advocate from Ranchi Jharkhand (India), focusing on spreading knowledge and changing attitudes on Child marriage in girls hostel in Ranchi Distrcit. She has been part of various dialogues and events happened in ranchi on Child marriage.

She has collected data from young girls and boys from different communities to measure understanding of child marriage and laws and practices relating to child marriage. She uses this to fuel evidence-based advocacy, helping young people take a stand against this evil practice.

What else are our delegates doing in Nairobi?

As well as launching our global consensus statements our delegation will be building on our recent advocacy successes and doing what Restless Development does best: putting young people at the centre of the conversation.

Our youth advocates, Fatuma and Rajshree, will be participating in the UNFPA led session: ‘Human Rights for All: The Politics of Inclusion.’

They will be looking specifically at the additional challenges to rights and choices for excluded groups such as indigenous populations, LGBTQ, persons with disabilities and HIV+ in an open discussion format.

We will also be holding a youth hack on “addressing healthcare provider bias to achieve youth-friendly health services” and leading a youth-led accountability training bootcamp, in collaboration with AMREF (Health Africa) and YAct Trust.

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