Involving Youth in the Sustainable Development Goals: the ECOSOC Youth Forum
From the 2nd to the 3rd of February, the ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) Youth Forum brought together UN Member States, UN agencies, youth delegates, representatives of youth organisations and other young people in the UN Headquarters in New York City.
The sessions focused on youth engagement in the transition from MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) to SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), WPAY+20 (World Programme of Action for Youth +20) and the post-2015 development agenda, youth participation in Africa, gender equality and global and regional processes taking place in those contexts.
As in the past edition, the European Youth Forum was present at the ECOSOC Youth Forum, with its Vice-President, Joan Conca Domènech, taking part in a panel discussion focusing on WPAY+20, together with youth ministers from Burkina Faso, Mexico and Romania, as well as representatives of other youth organisations.
The European Youth Forum appreciated the possibility to take part in this event, but would, however, like to see more structured involvement of youth organisations and young people in the development and preparation of the Forum. More interaction between Member States and youth representatives, as well as more possibilities for youth representatives to discuss amongst themselves and with the UN agencies and Member State representatives would help to improve the meeting. The ECOSOC Youth Forum is a step in the direction of youth participation in the UN system but is by no means the pinnacle of such participation.
The European Youth Forum strongly believes that youth involvement is essential in the transition to the SDGs. The UN Secretary-General has referred to young people as the “torchbearers” of the next development framework and we will continue to work towards strong and effective participation of young people and youth organisations within it.
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is the United Nations’ central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development. The theme of the ECOSOC Youth Forum is linked to the high-level segment of the UN Economic and Social Council.
– Website of the ECOSOC Youth Forum
– Links to the videos of the different sessions are available here