UN MGCY Statement
High-Level Political Forum
15 July 2016
Delivered by Annisa Triyanti, on behalf of the UN MGCY
Session 15: From inspiration to action: Multi-stakeholder engagement for implementation
Link to Statement:
2016 HLPF – UN MGCY Statement in Session 15
Thank you moderator for the opportunity to speak.
Thank you very much for giving us this opportunity to engage in this dialogue. I am speaking on behalf of the UN Major Group for Children & Youth.
Jumping right to the content of the matter. We have a comprehensive agenda towards 2030, which is very ambitious and extensive in scope, with everyone playing a key role to ensure it is achieved by and sustained beyond 2030, at all levels from global to local.
So now, to answer the question. What is our added value at the national level?
That is where the action plans for implementing the agenda exist. Additionally, the membership of the UN, the member states have acknowledged that we have a role in this setting. As far back as agenda 21 was adopted, and several times since then including in Johannesburg, Rio and New York . You have given us the mandate. You must uphold that mandate. The burden of responsibility for ensuring the process of implementing and reviewing the 2030 Agenda inclusive and participatory rests on governments and institutions
As children and youth, we have been partner in sustainable development through all stages of the process that have defined this historic agenda- including working in communities, collecting data, and sleeping in the delegated lounge during overnight negotiations.
We have a strong position on the need to provide children and youth spaces in a meaningful and structured way, to be engaged across the spectrums of sustainable development processes, including implementation, follow up and review.
This can be done, for instance, through shadow reporting, joint monitoring and agenda setting which allow us to be an equal partner for peer reviewed processes and validation of Agenda 2030 review.
Para 127 [c] of the johannesburg plan of action specifically mandates national youth councils and bodies to play a role in the review of sustainable development policies.
Our added values are clear, children and youth around the globe are taking roles as leaders across the spectrum in all communities. Since we will be the ones held accountable for achieving the Agenda by 2030, youth should have a driving role in ensuring its progress and be provided with the necessary resources to be in the driver’s seat. But more importantly, they do not need instructions from an Agenda, and are working to deliver it already.
In addition, engaging demographics that have a direct stake in the implementation of an agenda is practice that brings unique insights. This is clear and simple case. Nothing about us, without us. There is enough of an evidence base that suggests including people in policy making, implementation, monitoring and review yields better results. Does anyone here really disagree? If you want to know what works for us and what we need and how we want it done? We urge you to simply ask us and include us in the review.
The politics, around this becomes an issue, when state policies deliberately aim to curb dissent, criminalise advocacy and activism, and do not protect people working against interests that are contrary to that of the community. Or simply put, deny them their human right of participation. The rate of assassinations of human rights and environmental defenders has spiked.
To answer the question more technically. The whole idea of the MGoS system is to ensure and guarantee a dedicated and designated space for critical segments of society and specific rights holder groups. Without a system that gives specific access as a right to groups like children and youth, women, indigenous people, older people, people with disabilities, farmers etc is a system that is designed to ‘leave them behind’. So if anyone is serious and genuine about engagement at the national level, please acknowledge the MGoS.
Additionally, this also gives a dedicated voice to scientists to inform policy and create a science policy interface that bases policies on a robust evidence base. It also gives an avenue to local governments to formally engage with other levels of governments.
It is essential to harness this through support such as means of venues, capacity building and resources for children and youth to meaningfully participate.
Now that the case has been stated once again, please let us mention some ways to operationalise this – Legal frameworks that protect and enable, resources, and a culture of engagement.
The effort should be contextualized by respecting the nature of diversity, complexity, dynamics, and vulnerability of the system especially in the national and local level, where children and youth are situated.
Disaggregation of data/indicators by countries with special condition is one of possible mechanisms to start identifying the existing scene of children and youth status for better improvement.
This leads to the next peculiar issue on how to strengthen children and youth participation and that of MGoS effectively at the national level. The diversity, complexity, dynamics, and vulnerability of governance system of each countries can be both seen as challenges and potential in engaging children and youth in the national processes.
The generic, universal, however very powerful effort, to realize children and youth’s and major groups and other stakeholders engagement is a political will and mindset change in seeing inclusiveness not as a “ticking the box” regularity.
The other important thing is the need to enforcing interlinkage and coherence approach and iterative learning process from each other, ranging from incorporating global legal frameworks to local customary norms. An inclusive, multi-stakeholder regional and national consultation mechanism is one of the possible channels to allow this process to happen.
As encouraged by the Agenda 2030, each member state should have the national platform to design, implement, monitor, follow up and review the national action plan. In this mechanism, the major groups and other stakeholders including young people must have institutionalised seats to meaningfully engage in the decision-making processes.
The establishment of National Sustainable Development Councils or equivalent structures are critical to the effective and coherent implementation, follow-up, and review of the 2030 Agenda. It will assist to integrate elements of the agenda including the SDGs, into all ministries and streams of work. As part of their institutional mechanism, the councils should integrate all major groups and other stakeholders, including specific provision and space for the participation of children and youth, through national youth councils or groupings of youth-led organisations, within these councils. In all their formal deliberations, across the policy spectrum. We believe that this mechanism will require a more fluid-context specific, yet clear guidelines to ensure a legitimate and accountable process.