UN High Level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda
As the whole world counts down to the 2015 as the deadline for the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals, it was very timely that the United Nations began the process of evaluating the performance of the MDGs and started planning towards shaping the next set of development goals.
One of such strategies was the setting up of the UN High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda by the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon. With the primary role of shaping up the global development framework after 2015; the Panel of 26 eminent persons met in London from October 31st – November 2nd 2012 for its first outreach session. The outreach session was aimed at consulting with individuals and organizations from the private sector, civil society and youth in order to evaluate the missing links of the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to initiate conversations on the next global development framework as the MDGs expire in 2015.
Along with 23 other young persons, I was selected to be a part of the Youth Panel to the outreach session of the Eminent Persons Group and I think, this was one of the most memorable moments in my career; not because of just being on the Panel but for the role of representing the voices of over 70 million young Nigerians. With focus on Household Poverty as its overarching theme, the youth consultation was also centered on cross cutting issues such as jobs and livelihoods, education, sexual and reproductive health/rights as well as skills development. We employed different strategies to drive home the messages of what we want included in the next set of development goals. It was very encouraging and honoring for me to sit alongside with Eminent Persons, distinguished envoys and youth representatives from across the globe to discuss youth issues in the processes of the post-2015 development agenda.
Some of the major outcomes for this consultation were several pledges by members of the Eminent Persons Group and others to engage young persons in each step of the Post-2015 development processes, including the appointment of a youth observer in the Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Post-2015.
As a participant in the consultations, I am very happy to see that some of the suggestions have been taken into account within three months after the London consultation with the appointment of Ms. Jiajun Xu as the Youth Liaison in the UN High Level Panel Secretariat, organization of regional and youth-led consultations in Africa and Asia, creation of a dedicated website by the High Level Panel and the appointment of Mr. Ahmad Alhindawi as the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth.
While these achievements are commendable, we need to keep focus on pushing for the appointment of a youth observer to the High Level Panel and much more importantly sustain and increase the momentum of mobilizing our peers to add their voice in deciding what world we want. One of such opportunities is participating via http://www.myworld2015.org. Online consultations on core themes of health, education, jobs and livelihoods, environment as well as good governance are also currently ongoing via the World We Want Website. There will also be more than 50 national consultations as well as offline/online voting mechanisms via the “My World” Mini Survey Toolkit. For young people like me who have grown in the wake of the MDGs, this is an opportunity to decide what we want as the next set of development goals. It is not just our right, but our responsibility!
(Author: Esther Eshiet*)
Esther Eshiet* is a youth participant in the outreach session of the Secretary-General’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, held in London during 23 October-2 November, 2012.