Monday, June 9, 2014

Youths in Post 2015 Development Agenda in Morocco #3

National Consultation on the Priorities and Aspirations of Young Moroccans

Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society's margin, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies.
                                                                                 Kofi Anan, Former UN Secretary-General
Participants of the Youth Consultation on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, Morocco
Hello everyone

Today's post will be about the youth consultation on the Post 2015 Development Agenda in Rabat on the weekend of 31st March and 1st June that I was fortunate enough to be a part of.

In the past decade, the importance of youth participation in decision making has gained the much needed recognition with efforts by governments to engage youths in the national policy formation process. The stereotype youths faced, of lacking expertise or experience and being a problem or risk, has been replaced by being recognised as social actors who have the skills and capacity to bring about change and development.


In 2000, almost 14 years ago, world leaders from 189 nations pledged to achieve 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These goals sought to solve 8 main issues which were selected as the most important social issues at the time. As less than a year remains for the MDGs target date, the world is gearing up for a post 2015 agenda where new sets of goals, called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will be set out for the future.

Work on the SDGs started from 2010 after the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, formed a High Level Panel of Eminent Person to advise him on a Post 2015 Development Agenda. Since May 2012, consultations have been carried out with a focus on 11 themes: inequalities, health, education, growth and employment, environment sustainability, governance, conflict and fragility, population dynamics, hunger, food and nutrition security, energy and water. (UNDP Website)

Youth Post 2015 Development Agenda Consultation in Rabat, Morocco

On the 31st of May and the 1st of June, I had the chance to represent IFMSA-Morocco (International Federation of Medical Students Association-Morocco) for the youth consultation on the Post 2015 Development Agenda by the United Nations Population Fund-Morocco (UNFPA-Maroc) in Hay Nahda, Rabat.

IFMSA-Morocco delegation to the event
This national consultation aimed to get the voices of young Moroccans heard on a national and international level, create a platform of communication for youths to advocate on issues which will affect them in the Post 2015 Agenda and elaborate the recommendations decided by young Moroccans on issues which affect them in their home country among others.

The weekend saw a gathering of around 40-50 youths who came from various cities, backgrounds and represented many associations and organisations in Morocco. There were those who had finished studying or were pursuing a Bachelor's or Master's degree, youths from rural areas, migrants, youths who were handicapped and also youths who sat on national committees. Participants were from different associations which advocated for various causes. Every effort was made to ensure Moroccan youth were represented from every community.

Equal representation of youth from all parts of the community
In the two days which followed, the participants had the chance to meet with UN officials in Morocco and debate and discuss issues among themselves. They were taken through the concept of the MDGs and information associated with the Post 2015 process.

Three working groups were formed for the 3 chosen themes: 
  • Right to Information and Sexual Reproductive Health and Equality
The ''Right to Information and Sexual Reproductive Health and Equality" working group
  • Education and Employment
The ''Education and Employment" working group
  • Governance and Participation
The ''Governance and Participation" working group
Each working group was moderated by a youth who was a leader in their own right. UN-Morocco officials were present to provide guidance but at the same time kept the process entirely youth focused. Priorities were identified and recommendations brainstormed. By the end of the second day each working group had come up with at least 6 recommendations along with ways they could be lobbied to be made into actual policies.

The event highlighted the potential of Moroccan youths in the public/political sphere and showed that our youth have a lot to offer to change the society for the better.

Hope you enjoyed the article on the event as much as I enjoyed participating in the event itself.

Until the next article.

Have a good week.


P.S. I recently joined twitter and you could follow me at this twitter handle: @abdulmshaheed
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