In honour of International Youth Day, Tania Martínez, coordinator of ACT!2030 Mexico, looks back on the ECOSOC Youth Forum which took place in January 2017.
ACT!2030 participated in the 70th World Health Assembly in Geneva in May, and we were lucky enough to participate in the 3rd annual Global Citizens' Hearing, "Citizen-led accountability to achieve health for all: adolescents as agents of change". This event was organised by IPPF, Save the Children, the White Ribbon Alliance, World Vision and supported by Canada, and co-sponsored by the governments of Afghanistan, Haiti, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and Uruguay as well as UNAIDS, UNFPA and PMNCH. It was great to see so much high level support for youth-led accountability! We were represented on this panel by Jona Turalde from ACT!2030 Philippines. You can read her full intervention below.
ACT!2030 and The PACT were very present at the 70th World Health Assembly, held in Geneva from 22nd - 29th May 2017 - read more about our engagements!
Levi Singh, from the South African ACT!2030 youth alliance, reflects on his experience at the 50th Session of the Commission on Population and Development in New York City.
I remember the events of the 48th UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD) quite vividly: South Africa was the chair of the G77 + China, and negotiations stretched on late into the night during all 5 days of the formal negotiations - but despite this, no formal agreement was reached.
The 50th Session of the CPD took place in New York from 3-7 April 2017, and again countries struggled to come to a consensus. It was the second time in three years that the commission could not reach a negotiated consensus resolution agreed by all Member States.
by Ashley Ngwenya, youth advocate from ACT!2030 Zimbabwe
I have come to the conclusion that true moments of a life time are those that we remember with such precise detail way beyond their time of occurrence. See, I experienced the first of such moments in my life a month plus ago, yet I can relive it all with such an effort-free gesture as closing my eyes! For me it was not chance but destiny, not convenience but design - for the tool of my service was bestowed upon me from birth… I laugh out loud then halt in awe of destiny as I remember my first academic report that described me as a chatter box 20 years ago as I was leaving preschool. Fast forward to 2017 , United States of America and the chatter box is no longer just a chatter box but an emissary for young people seated at the United Nations headquarters in New York at the ECOSOC Youth Forum, kicking staring her dream with salutations as simple as:
"It is a pleasant day to you all my name is Ashley Ngwenya."
By Ricardo Baruch
More than 30 young activists from all over the world participated in the High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS that took place in New York. During 3 days (and some weeks before that), young people participated in negotiations, panels and meetings in order to share their experiences and demands.
The High Level Meeting started with the adoption of the Political Declaration that was negotiated in the previous weeks by UN member states and some CSOs. Many representatives of civil society were very disappointed that there were no opportunities to improve the language related to key populations, harm reduction, comprehensive sexuality education and other important issues that are key for the response to the epidemic and that are also controversial for some conservative governments. Some of the relevant language is included at the end of this document.
By Ricardo Baruch (The PACT) and Murtaza Majeed (Youth RISE)
Two very important meetings are scheduled in 2016: the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs and the High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS. Both will take place in April and June consequently in New York. All Member States will discuss what should be done at the global level in order to deal with issues around drug use, drug markets, drug control among others.
The drug control models and conventions came into play in an era where homosexuality was considered a “sickness”, abortion was a “crime”, and from history we know how stigmatizing and marginalizing communities have affected homosexual populations; but, thanks to persistent advocacy and activism, most governments accepted the fact and the health risks decreased among them. Alas, drug use is still stigmatized, people who use drugs are still marginalized groups, and data clearly indicates that the morbidity rate of drug users due to current repressive policies and health care is very high.
By Ricardo Baruch and Lindsay Menard-Freeman
For the fourth time in history, the 71st Session of the General Assembly of the UN will put AIDS on the table and discuss what is needed in order to respond in a better way to one of the most terrible epidemics in history.
Adolescents and young people are one of the most affected groups by HIV globally, but there are many governments that have not yet recognized their needs and their rights. Several countries still deny the right to sexuality education, access free condoms, or even to recognize the basic human right to life of LGBT people.
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.