By Olimatou Coker
International Trade Center (ITC) and partners on Wednesday held two days national youth consultation forum with heads of different youth organizations in Gambia.
The convergence, held at the OIC, seeks to promote a coordinated and coherent approach towards addressing the needs of advanced rights and build urgency of young people.
These particular consultations take on heightened significance in the lead-up to the Global Forum for Adolescents and Youth and the SDG Summit, marking the halfway point for implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
The two days consultations critically raised awareness and momentum for young people’s well-being. It also provides a unique opportunity for partners to increase political advocacy efforts and strengthen national and regional-based commitments and accountability for thewell-being of young people and will inform ongoing efforts to report on the country’s progress in attaining the SDGs.
Seraphine Wakana, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in The Gambia, reiterated the United Nations commitment in empowering young people and increasing their participation in societies access to education, training and jobs creation for youths
She said investing in education helps employment opportunities for a young population. “The Gambia could create positive impacts and pave the way for a more prosperous future . As we found ourselves at the midpoint of the 2030 agenda. We have knowledge that our journey through development has been marked by converging impacts from conflict, climate disasters, economic downturn, and the effects of the global pandemic”.
Mrs Wakana assured the UN system’s willingness to continue working with partners, including the governmental support the rights and well being of youths in The Gambia.
Omar Cham, the Speaker of the National Youth Parliament, highlighted the role of young people as essential actors in building sustainable peace and development anchor in their abilities to organize and mobilize each other, to reach the grassroots and to engage with relevant stakeholders in the drive towards the development of the nation while leaving no one behind.
“Knowing this has informed our insuppressible dedication to partner with government and relevant stakeholders to create a Gambia socio economically advanced, with quality education, employment, peace, good governance and democracy, good health, meaningful youth political participation, protection of the rights of women, especially sexual and reproductive health rights protection and inclusion of persons with disabilities, protection of the environment and a Gambia where everyone cherishes to live in, whereby living doesn’t mean surviving. This is the cornerstone of the sustainable development goals,” he noted.
He said this is the spirit of youth towards the 2030 agenda.
“We are gathered for these two days to a diagnosis of the issues confronting our development, our wellbeing and our productivity and provide inputs that will guide the manner in which stakeholders engage on our affairs, in terms of priorities, in terms of solutions and in terms of innovation. We must not let that opportunity slip, this is our show. Therefore, in our appreciation of this progress it is quite important to collectively do an appraisal of the current state of affairs of the young people of this nation.”