The year 2015 is fast approaching which mean that countries and international bodies are working assiduously to ensure that they have met or have surpassed 50 percent of their personal goal in achieving the eight Millennium Development Goal MDGs set out by the United Nations. Already there have been discussions about what will happen after 2015 and how will the international sphere prioritize issues and disseminate resources. Throughout the discourse we’ve seen the rise of the post 2015 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals SDGs both focusing on a inclusive development process subsequent the year 2015.
With over half the world’s population being under the age of 30, global development, prosperity, and security are increasingly dependent on our collective ability. It is paramount that as we go forward we are sensitive of issues facing our young people that are not only our future but are also our present. There have many conversations around the MDGs, SDGs and the post 2015 development agenda in the last couple of months and that have been very youth inclusive.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to sit on a panel discussion hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies CSIS, FOCUSED ON Youth and Global Development: A conversation on prosperity and security. Other panelist include: Nancy Lindborg, Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs, U.S. Agency for International Development, William Reese, Chief Executive Officer, International Youth Foundation, and Jennifer Silberman, Vice President for Corporate Responsibility, Hilton Worldwide. As the only young person on the panel I felt a great sense of pride representing the youth population and it also restored a sense of hope within me, a sense of hope that reassured me that there are leaders and stakeholders out there that are actually interested in hearing what young people have to say. Young people are leading the way forward, they are finding new and innovative ways to champion and address issues that affect them negatively, they are demanding a place at the table and they are demanding equal say and voting rights in decision making process.