This past week, Aram Barra, from The PACT & ACT!2015, had the honour to speak on our behalf at the Every Women Every Child High Level Event. See the transcript of his speech below!
"Thank you excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. It is my pleasure to address you today, September 26, a day when my country, Mexico, commemorates one year since the forcible disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, and the murder of 6 community members. The case has come to symbolize all of Mexico’s disappeared, the corruption and the carnage wrought by the war on drugs — which has heavily impacted the health of young people.
But today I address you as part of ACT!2015, a global youth initiative led by The PACT and national youth alliances, and with support from UNAIDS, it is my pleasure to address you today.
Through these initiatives, we commit to establish youth-led and data-driven accountability mechanisms in focus countries in order to advance young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights and to end the AIDS epidemic. We commit to do this through indicator advocacy, gathering evidence, developing communications for national level accountability, and facilitating global exchange and visibility.
Over the next 2 years, youth partners will develop national indicator advocacy roadmaps, create national databases and translate data generated by young people into communication packages for advocacy.
By building a global network of young accountability advocates, we can facilitate global exchange across countries and regions at high-level and politically strategic meetings.
Excellencies, as you know, sexual and reproductive health and rights are intrinsically linked to sustainable development. They unlock access to other fundamental rights such as the right to education, to employment, to freedom and to equality.
In order to scale up access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Youth and Adolescent Friendly Healthcare Services, young people must engage key stakeholders in education and health and non-traditional actors in the information, communications and technology sectors.
From August 2013 to date, ACT!2015 has mobilised hundreds of community dialogues, built national youth alliances and are now implementing advocacy plans in over 10 countries.
Excellencies, as part of the initiative ACT!2015 we today commit to continue to bring forward the voices and needs of young people living with HIV and other key affected populations, including those who sell sex, who use drugs and members of the LGBT community in order to fast track the response to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
Moreover, we commit to make young people a key part of the national implementation process by engaging with governments to ensure we reach an evidence-informed, data-driven response that addresses the realities of young people’s lives and achieves better health outcomes.
All of this with especial focus on adolescents, young women and young key populations in the AIDS response, in order to achieve and to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights for everyone.
Thank you very much."
The full video of the session, including Aram’s speech, may be watched here.
Views and opinions expressed in these blogs are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent those of the organizations that support this initiative, nor is the publishing of these blogs an endorsement. This space is provided for youth advocates to freely express their views on issues that affect them and relate to their work.