During the next two days, London will be host to 26 world leaders meeting to represent the UN High Level Panel on the Post-2015 agenda. This meeting is first of many in shaping how we move on from the successes and failures of the Millennium Development Goals. The panel will be chaired by David Cameron, the President of Liberia – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and the President of Indonesia, Sisilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
As part of the meeting, the panel will be meeting with 3 different groups of people who they think can offer a different perspective on the post-2015 agenda: the private sector, the civil sector, and young people. Along with 23 other young leaders from across the world, I will be participating in the latter discussion representing Plan UK.
Whilst the UN High Level Panel were beginning their initial discussion today, we also began our discussion at the Girl HUB in preparation for presenting to the panel tomorrow. We had an incredibly productive day full of learning and innovative conversation focused around our diverse range of experiences.
The overarching theme of tomorrow is Household Poverty which focuses on the issues of Education, Health and Employment.
We believe our aim of participating in this event is to demonstrate to the panel how important it is to involve young people in all stages of decision making, especially when the decisions being made directly affect our lives and development. Young people represent 3.5 billion of the global population and deserve to take the steering wheel in setting the objectives which will shape our future. However, we want to avoid talking about youth engagement in only abstract, idealistic terms and show the panel real examples from our lives of how innovative and revolutionary a youth led approach to development can really be.
Our session will be opened by CEO of Restless Development, Nik Hartley and will include examples of youth-led programmes in Education, Health and Employment from Ben from Zambia, Michelle from the Philippines and Ravi from India. We will lead lead into 2 round table discussions, one of which I will be facilitating, where we will discuss, face-to-face with the UN High Level Panel, our objectives for the post-2015 agenda and what we can learn from the examples we have shared.
As one of my peers commented today, “youth-led development is infectious” and I hope we can successfully show the importance and pertinence including young people in the process of moving on from the Millennium Development Goals and shaping our future.