On 30-31st March, ACP YPN was invited to present on the subject of ‘Youth and SDGs’ at the ACP Roundtable on Inter-regional Cooperation and Agenda 2030. Yentyl Williams, Founder & President of ACP YPN presented the work and recommendations of ACP YPN to ACP Ambassadors, high-level officials and stakeholders. The presentation can be found here.
Yentyl began by asking the audience, “where will you be in 15years time?”. Raising this issue gave the audience the opportunity to reflect on this pertinent question, but also to realise the importance of including youth in the debate on achieving the non-negligible SDGs. In 15 years time, many of the youth of today, leaders in their own right, will be the future leaders discussing post-Agenda 2030 context and setting new priorities.
The presentation began with an overview of ACP YPN, which was created in recognition of the fact that article 26 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement on ‘youth issues’ was not only under-utilised, but that there was a need to create a bridge to re-connect 40years of technical cooperation between the EU and ACP, and the young professionals and diaspora. Additionally, she underlined the mission and five goals that guide ACP YPN’s actions.
‘Youth’ are only mentioned 5times within the 169 targets of the 17 SDGs. In particular, ‘youth’ are mentioned in SDG4, SDG8 and SDG13 on education, employment and climate change respectively. Nevertheless, ACP YPN highlights that ‘youth’ are not stand alone issues, rather they are ‘cross-cutting’ and multi-sectoral’. This recognition has led to the development of ACP YPN’s three key recommendations:
1) Pioneer Youth-mainstreaming;
2) Align SDGs with regional agendas;
3) Create an enabling environment for youth and youth organisations.
ACP YPN is positioning itself to be the organisation that provides advisory support to achieve those three recommendations to – (i) Pioneer Youth-mainstreaming; (ii) Align SDGs with Regional Agendas; (iii) Create an enabling environment for youth & youth organisations – working as partners to achieve the future that the SDGs promise. yentyl concluded by recognising that this is not a conclusion, but just the beginnning: “This future is ours, let’s CO-create it!”
Other panelists included:
- UN Women Youth and Gender Strategy
- Youth Forum at the Commission on the of Status of Women
- Empower Women platform
Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) – see the amazing life-changing work CARPHA is doing here.