There are 1.8 billion young people today who face critical issues affecting their health and development. Young parliamentarians from around the world stand up for the rights of these young people.
At the recently concluded Second Young Parliamentarians’ Consultation on ICPD and Post 2015 UN Development Agenda, young parliamentarians formulated a set of recommendations to advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people including provision of comprehensive sexuality education, promote gender equality and protection of women and girls against any form of violence, and enhance youth participation and access to decent employment.
“History has shown that it is the youth that is at the forefront of any meaningful movement for change and human advancement,” said Senator Malaka Parker, Antigua and Barbuda. She challenged her fellow young MPs to be young, passionate, sincerely given to the cause of ICPD, thinkers and innovators, and to challenge the norms which deny each person the access to their human rights, and which denies true social, human and national advancement.
As the world grapple with pressing issues that come with youth bulge, young parliamentarians play a unique role in pushing the youth agenda into the post 2015 development framework discussions. “Delivering a more equitable, prosperous and sustainable world where everyone’s potential is fulfilled requires efforts on your part,” said Dianne Stewart, Director, Information and External Relations Department of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA IERD) in her keynote speech.
Young MPs recognised the importance and urgency of engaging and strengthening the role of civil society, young people and, faith-based organisations and other relevant stakeholders as key partners of parliamentarians in addressing the issues of the ICPD agenda.
“Development can only be attained if all stakeholders work together toward a shared-goal because parliamentarians don’t exist in a vacuum. Partnership is key to achieving the ICPD agenda,” Ramon San Pascual, Executive Director of the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) said.
The Consultation was organized by AFPPD with support from UNFPA IERD and hosted by Hon. Tissa Karalliyadda, Minister of Child Development and Women’s Affairs and Chair of AFPPD Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians on Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls. It was held in Negombo, Sri Lanka on October 3-4, 2013.