Plan International convened a panel to seek best practices on consultation method involving young people, so that the future monitoring process of the sustainable development goals can include effective participation of young people.
The Chair opened by asking young advocates if they know of any institutions of consultation in which young people’s view can be collected. One institution discussed is the UN Young Delegate programme, in which member states nominate young people of their country to speak in the Third Committee of the General Assembly. While there is enthusiasm surrounding this proposal, there are concerns as to whether the programme can reach out to the most marginalized children in a country. Further, there are also questions as to whether the Youth Delegates can reach out to their constituencies during their tenure in New York, which is core to their task of representing young people in their country.
Further consultation mechanisms, such as universal periodic review mechanism used by the UN Human Rights Council are advocated as possible means to involve young people in monitoring the progress of the SDGs. The mechanism’s provision for civil society to write shadow reports in response to member states’ submission allow young people to pinpoint lapses in the country’s progress and areas for improvement. The role of national Youth Advisory Board, a mechanism mentioned and strengthened in the Colombo Declaration of Youth, is also highlighted as a possible means of monitoring and consultation.
Attention is also paid as to whether the outcome of the monitoring process can be fed back to the decision-makers, as there are worries as to consultation of youth being reduced to a mere public relations exercise. Concerns about the decision-makers’ capacity to engage with young people were also raised, as some young delegates mentioned their experience of being patronized when making suggestions.
Meeting Title: Youth participation in monitoring to ensure accountability for the post-2015 development framework
Speakers: Representative from Plan International, Representative from Overseas Development Institute, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and Youth Delegates
Location: Conference Room 7, North Lawn Building, United Nations Headquarters
Date: 2 July 2014
Written by WIT Representative: Harrison Chung
Edited by WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon