UN High Level panel on #Post2015: Demystifying the myths of youth participation

Esther Eshiet  at the townhall meetingFollowing her participation at the United Nations High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the #Post2015 Development Agenda, London Consultation meeting; Founder, Afterschool Peer Mentoring Project (ASPMP) ,  Esther Eshiet shares a blog post on the #Beyond2015 processes.

UN High Level panel on #Post2015: Demystifying the myths of youth participation 

As the world over counts down to the 2015 the deadline for the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals; it was very timely the UN began the process of evaluating the performance of the goals and begin to plan towards shaping the next set of development goals.

One of such strategies was setting up of the UN High Level Panel of Eminent persons on the #Post2015 Development Agenda by the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon. With the Primary role of shaping the Global Development Framework after 2015; the 26 person committee met in London from October  31st – November 2nd 2012 for its first outreach session.  The outreach session was aimed at consulting with individuals and organizations in the Private Sector, Civil Society and Young people in order to evaluate the missing links of the current Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) as well as kick start the conversations on the next global development framework after the MDGs expire in 2015.

Alongside 23 other young persons, I was selected to be a part of the Youth Panel to the outreach session of the Eminent Persons Group and without sounding cliché; this was one of the most memorable moments in my career; not because of just being on the Panel but the role of representing the voices of over 70 million young Nigerians.

With focus on Household Poverty as its overarching theme, the youth consultation was also centered on cross cutting issues such as Jobs and Livelihoods, Education, Sexual and Reproductive Health/Rights as well as Skills development. We employed different strategies to drive home the messages of what we want included in the next set of development goals. I sat alongside between Mr. Gary Cornille, Envoy to the Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Mr. Homi Kharas, and Halleh Umar an Advisor to Ms. Emilia Pires; while Messah Kamara from Sierra Leone, Dianella Ramirez from USA were the other youth participants at the table.

We advocated against the exclusion of young people in the Constitution of the Eminent Persons Group and Panel and pointed out the necessity of this for maximum participation of young people in the process; without sounding ungrateful we commended the High Level Panel for consulting with young people while reiterating that this shouldn’t be the end but rather a first step in the several engagement processes ahead.

Some of the major outcomes for this consultation were several pledges by members of the Eminent Persons Group to engage young persons; each step of the way in the build up to 2015; the Envoy to the Liberian President, H.E Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, endorsed the idea of having a youth observer to the High Level Panel!

Other highlights from the event was the launch of My World- an MDGs crowdsourcing platform for individuals and organizations to engage the High Level Panel on the #post2015 Development agenda as well as a town hall meeting comprising Private Sector, Civil Society Organizations and Young People .



Key Quotes from the High Level Panel Consultations

This is the first time in history and in my entire career that young persons have been consulted directly by such a panel and on an important issue as the MDGs” Mr Nik Hartley, CEO of Restless Development;

Esther Eshiet advocated that “It is not enough to teach young people how to write CVs, but to enable them access markets, become trend spotters, focus on new wealth and have relaxed trade laws and begin to set goals that prepare young people to seamlessly transit from school to work.”

As take home from the High Level Panel; Mr.  Gary Conille, envoy for President  Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, endorsed the idea of a Youth observer to #post2015HLP!’

“it is not just building another clinic block; but creating a safe space where the young people’s Sexual and Reproductive Health needs of young people will be addressed without being judged – Pipa Gardner

“The world has changed and you have more tools; there was no Twitter nor Facebook when the first set of goals were drafted”- Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan

The London Consultation is just the first step, the online consultation is currently ongoing via the World We Want Website; there will be over 50 National Consultations, as well as offline Consultations using the “My World” Mini Survey toolkit. It is very relevant that as young people who have grown in the wake of the MDGs, this is an opportunity for us to decide what we want as the next set of development goals. It is not just our right, but our responsibility!

For more information on the HLP and how to engage; visit: www.theworldwewant.org

For details on My World; visit: www.endpoverty2015.org

Tweet at : @worldwewant, @youthpost2015 ; using the #Post2015HLP

Facebook: Global Youth Voices – UN Global Conversation on the Post-2015 Agenda


Posted on November 20, 2012, in Africa, Competitions, Entrepreneurship, Gender, Women, Girls and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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