ACP YPN 2nd Youth Forum at EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly

On 18th December 2016, Bora Kamwanya, ACP YPN Advocacy and Policy Officer. Led the 2nd ACP YPN Youth Forum in collaboration with the JPA Secretariat, the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) and the European Youth Forum at the 32nd EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.

More than 90 youth between the age of 17 and 35 years old from Kenya joined the Forum and benefitted from this unique opportunity to exchange with ACP and EU parliamentarians and officials. The two co-chairs, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Marie Arena for the European Parliament and Cecilia Ogwal for the ACP opened the Youth Forum. This was followed by a speech by Bora Kamwanya, who reminded participants of the vital role that they will play, not only in assessing the legacy of the Cotonou Agreement due to expire in 2020, but also in the implementation and assessment of the Agenda 2030, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Bora urged country representatives present to let the youth spread their wings, and offered the help of ACP YPN to solve some problems ACP youth and ACP youth Diaspora are facing. He reminded the audience that the youth need actions and not only pledges, highlighting the promise of Article 26 of the Cotonou Agreement on “cooperation on youth issues” and its lack of implementation. He concluded that “Nothing for the youth should be done without the youth.”

ACP YPN also haled a bilateral meeting with Sakaja Johnson, a Kenyan young parliamentarian and chairman of The National Alliance Party, with the ACP Secretariat, the CYC and Kenya youth representatives. Johnson supported and encouraged ACP YPN and partners to continue the advocacy for youth rights.

In Bora’s words “We are striving to make the voice of the ACP youth and ACP diaspora youth heard by our leaders. We are aiming to attend and organize a Youth Forum at every JPA. Together we can represent the voice of the Youth in Malta at the next JPA.”  Based on the interventions made by the youth present, the ACP YPN – Nairobi declaration was drafted and distributed to EU and ACP representatives present.

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