HLPF 2016: 13/7 – Session 8 – National Level Ownership

UN MGCY Statement
High-Level Political Forum
13 July 2016

Session 8: Creating ownership at the national level

Link to Statement:
2016 HLPF – UN MGCY Statement in Session 8

Speaking on behalf of the UN Major Group for Children’s & Youth, thank you for letting us contribute to this discussion.

We would like to stress two main points that we think that should be mentioned.

The first point we want to make is that there is no possible national ownership of the SDGs without a holistic national clarity of country’s sustainable development situation. Indeed, I know from conversations with various young people and others here, that many European countries, for example, do not have an overarching leadership for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as of today. Coordination is still held by environmental or development ministries. We urge you to make sure that all three sustainable development dimensions- social, economic and environmental- are taken into consideration. Therefore we advocate for strong political leadership from heads of state/government, and recommend leveraging data and analysis provided by cross-cutting departments, in order to leverage synergies and disable goal conflicts. This way, the 2030 Agenda will be instilled into every decision, as well as budgetary frameworks which is crucial for our children’s future. A 2030 agenda check needs to be implemented before each decision made by any governmental level – there mustn’t be any decision-making without matching with the Agenda 2030.

Additionally, we believe that creating ownership actually does not happen exclusively on the governmental level. The process of creating national ownership goes beyond the government, but national governments have burden of responsibility to encourage their civil society in terms of creating a feeling of their ownership by empowering & coordinating them. National ownership in this sense requires governments to reach out to and engage with a diverse range of stakeholders and all segments of society, including youth.

Secondly, we would therefore like to mention our definition of often said, “reaching out to young people.” “Reaching out to young people” on the national level does NOT mean sending out e-mails to only specific organisations focused on environment or development, it does not only mean launching an online public consultation – this is not enough.

What we really need is to have young people – represented by their representative structures – who for example comment on the national strategies for the implementation, who help in drafting them – and particularly important to mention during this forum – may not be left behind in the setting up and delivery of the national review. Therefore the policy-designing processes as well as the national reviewing process needs to be transparent in order to allow National Youth Councils, for example, to accompany these processes in a critical way. Independent National Youth Council or grouping of youth-led organisations do not stand for their own but for their member organisations and the great amount of young people they represent. Therefore national governments also have to provide the possibility for these organisations to broadly consult the greatest possible amount of young people in their countries, which might require significant time and resources

Creating national ownership means reaching out to all different segments of the young society. Contributions from youth might be very various and happen in very different ways but the member states’ task is to provide the space for them to participate equally in policy making, implementation and follow-up and review.

According to us, national ownership also extends to the follow-up and review process. It can only be better when civil society and youth is involved. Never worse! So there is no reason for exclusion!

Thank you.

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