Although children and young people make up half the global population, too often their opinions are ignored, according to a coalition of child and youth focused organisations. On 27 November, young people from around the world will participate in a High Level Panel, called Young Voices for Inclusive Governance: Implications for the Post-2015 Framework, at the European Development Days, arguing their voices must be included in discussions on what follows the Millennium Development Goals. The framework that will come into effect as of September 2015 will address sustainable development, as well as issues such as governance and democratic state-building.
Sixteen-year-old Jenny, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is one of the panellists. “The opportunity to speak at the European Development Days is a chance to express - as a Congolese child and in my own words - what must change; the errors that cannot be repeated in the future,” says Jenny, who is president of the Children’s Parliament in Kinkole and a World Vision youth ambassador.
In the high level panel, four young panellists will bring their grassroots experiences to discuss the critical issues of young people’s participation and governance in the post-2015 framework. The panel is organised by World Vision and Plan EU Office, in collaboration with UNICEF, SOS Children’s Villages International, the European Youth Forum and Save the Children.
Barriers to young people’s participation
“It’s a common misconception that children and young people lack the competence and experience required to participate in the decision making process. But we know from our experience of working with children around the world that they are the best people to tell us about the issues which matter to them, proposing innovative and effective solutions for a better future for all,” says the head of Plan EU Office, Alexandra Makaroff.
Inclusive governance as a main concern for youth
The panel discussion will focus not only on participation but also on inclusive governance, as a result of a recent global consultation in which young people identified governance as the number one issue to be addressed in the post-2015 framework. Governance relates to how power and authority are exercised in the management of national and global public affairs and resources.
"Inclusive governance, through meaningful participation of the most vulnerable such as children and youth, helps build lasting relationships, increases the access to information, enhances accountability and transparency that lays the foundations of sustainability,” says World Vision’s EU representative, Marius Wanders.
"A new framework will only be effective if it is underpinned by fair, responsible and inclusive governance in which children and youth have a significant role to play as agents of change."
The panel will urge global decision makers to ensure that young voices are included in all of the major decision-making processes that concern the post-2015 framework. The framework itself must also include provisions for the participation of young people in all matters which affect them in their own country
The panel will take place on 27 November from 09:30-11:00. It will be livestreamed here and here. To submit your comments and questions to the panel during the event, use hashtag #EDD13_P2015. For more information about the ‘Young Voices’ Panel, click here. For more information on the global consultation of youth, click here.
Kazakh president sets out five priorities for #Kazakhstan’s 'Third Stage of Modernization'
In his annual address to the nation, Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, announced five main priorities as part of what he described as “Kazakhstan’s third stage of modernization”. The priorities are aimed at ensuring economic growth and supporting the country to become one of the top 30 most developed countries in the world by 2050.
The five priorities are: Acceleration of technological modernization of the economy, improved business environment, macroeconomic stability, improved quality of human capital and institutional reforms, including improved security and more action to tackle corruption.
President Nazarbayev said in his annual address: “I am setting the task of ensuring the implementation of the Third Modernisation of Kazakhstan. It is necessary to create a new model of economic growth that will ensure the country's global competitiveness.”
He added: “This modernization is not a plan to combat current global challenges, but a reliable bridge to the future, to meet the objectives of Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy. It will be carried out on the basis of the 100 Concrete Steps Plan of the Nation.”
The Head of State also instructed the Government to developa package of measures for the technological re-equipment of basic industries by 2025.
The annual address followed a special announcement given by the President last week, in which he set out bold plansto increase the powers of parliament. President Nazarbayev stated that these constitutional reforms are aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan, as the Government will be accountable to parliament.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev has proposed a constitutional reform aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan. During a special televised address to the nation on 25 January, the President announced a number of functions that would be transferred either to the Government or Parliament. Public discussions on the proposed constitutional reforms will take place for the next month, concluding on 26 February. After this, the reforms will be presented to Parliament.