ENABLING YOUTH PARTICIPATION IN BRIDGING RIO+20 OUTCOME BEYOND 2015’
Ruwini Jayawardana in Rio de Janeiro
14th June 2012, Rio, Brazil, “We must consider the youths as assets in the development processes worldwide. Partnerships with youth will be key to successful implementation of beyond-2015 global agenda,” Youth Affairs and Skills Development Deputy Minister Duminda Dissanayake concluded the ‘Enabling Youth participation in bridging Rio+20 outcome Beyond 2015’ at Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development which was held at Rio Centro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Giving voices, opportunities and leadership to youth should be the guiding principles for developing the beyond-2015 agenda. The focus needs to be on the most marginalized young women and young men in urban and rural areas that are often left out of the development discussions. The event was organized by Sri Lankan National Youth Council in collaboration with the Environment Ministry and the Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry, Government of Sri Lanka.
The panel ‘Enabling Youth participation in bridging Rio+20 outcome Beyond 2015’ was also aimed at mobilization and empowerment on UNCSD/Rio+20 and beyond process as the Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY). It was directed at to create a platform for youth participation and bridge the gap between the global north and the global south youth. Over 200 participants from esteemed youth-led civil society participants, NGOs, private, government and UN organizations representatives attended the event to create a meaningful session for strengthening youth participation in developing the beyond 2015 agenda. Youth leadership is central to developing a youth centered preparatory process, and ensuring youth perspective to the development of beyond-2015 agenda. Participants concluded youth partnership as central force for the implementation of the beyond-2105 agenda.
The key areas they have decided to focus upon are to establish mechanisms to encourage youth participation in the post 2015 development agenda, sustain youth led organization and partnership, meeting the goals set by youth and empowering youth in the society.
The government of Sri Lanka has encouraged youth participation in decision making matters by establishing a youth parliament and Federation of Youth clubs which has more than one million youth members from the grassroot level. The Emerging Young Leader Award (EYLA) and Top 20 award brought young leaders representing diverse sectors to national and international level. NYSC also introduced a national sport festival and reality show, ‘Sihinaya’ (Dream) for disable young people. They have even given space for young persons from indigenous communities and marginalized sectors including young people living with HIV to mainstream their voices for global and solitary justice.
DSCN1579/DSCN1589- The head table: Duminda Dissanayake (Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development), Lalith Piyum Perera (Chairman of the National Youth Services Council), Angela Guimaraes (Deputy Secretary of the National Secretariat, Government of Brazil), Ravi Karkara – Moderator of the Panel (Global Expert Advisor on Youth and Children, UN-HABITAT), Bernadette Fischer (Beyond 2015), Nelson Muffuh (UN Millennium Campaign Campaign), Lloyd Russell-Moyle (European Youth Forum and ICMYO), Henri Valot (Outreach Director of CIVICUS), Juan Alberto Varela (AXIOS Mexico), Kiara Worth and Ivana Savic (Major Group of Youth and Children), Sarah Kennell (Youth collation for Reproductive and Sexual Rights)
DSCN1626- Hon Deputy Minister: Duminda Dissanayake, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development of Sri Lanka.
DSCN1600- Angela Guimaraes (Deputy Secretary of the National Secretariat, Government of Brazil), Ravi Karkara – Moderator of the Panel (Global Expert Advisor on Youth and Children, UN-HABITAT)
DSCN1599- Bernadette Fischer (Beyond 2015)