UN MGCY Statement
High-Level Political Forum
20 July 2016
Session 17: Ensuring that No One is Left Behind: Reaching the most vulnerable
Link to Statement:
2016 HLPF – UN MGCY Statement in Session 17
Thank you for giving us the floor. I speak on behalf of the Major Group for Children and Youth.
Young people are diverse and face distinct and unique challenges. To leave not one behind, we must meaningfully engage all young people, in all their diversity, equally and equitably.
Yet, a lack of age-friendly information limits youth engagement in policy processes. Not only physical, but economic, social, and cultural barriers alike are challenges. In the absence of these elements, all efforts of engagement fail to be meaningful.
The inherent marginalisation of girls and young women, based in the double discrimination of age and gender, is evident by the continuation of all forms of gender-based violence, significantly limiting their participation.
Despite the importance of youth and youth-led organisations often being recognized, the concept is absent in practice, especially for the most vulnerable.
In the face of these barriers, we would like to share one of the best practices for transformative change as it empowers youth as agents of change and builds their capacities as leaders: non-formal education.
Non-formal education provides even the most marginalized with the opportunity to acquire a variety of skills, including critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork. These skills will help them to analyse the problems facing their communities and the confidence to take action to combat and solve them.
In addition, we would like to present the following 3 actionable items:
1, Data must be disaggregated by age, in two-year intervals up to, at least, the age of 19, as well as by gender, ethnicity, income, and territory.
2, Funding must be designated for youth-led and youth-serving organizations engaging in the design, implementation, monitoring, and follow up and review of policy at all levels.
3, marginalised children and youth must be legitimately represented in decision making bodies to ensure that engagement of young people on local, regional, national and international levels is meaningful.
As a leader you must ensure that not only is everyone part of the journey and has the opportunity to participate to the best of their abilities, but also that they are aware of their capacities to do so. In order to transform our structural marginalisation, it is essential to ensure that critical segments of society, namely major groups and other stakeholders, including Children and Youth, have the right to decide our own future.