As part of efforts to ensure that no one is left behind in contributing their quota towards the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a cardinal principle of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, the Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG), an NGO with support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Ghana and the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) have moved to hold a one-day consultative workshop on Youth SDGs Report for the some selected youth leaders across the southern parts of the country.
The participants/stakeholders numbering 42; comprising leaders of various youth-led and youth-driven organizations were drawn from the Greater Accra, Central, Western, Western North, Volta and Oti Regions of Ghana.
They were tasked to generate inputs for sections of the Youth SDGs Report, Ghana which included review and reaction of Youth on Previous Ghana’s VNR 2019 and its influence on its current VNR 2022, practical ways stakeholders adhere to “Leaving no one behind” principle in organization and program as well as strategies adopted by groups/organizations to restructure program and mobilize resource to build back from COVID-19.
The event was staged at the plush conference room of the Volta Serene Hotel located at Ho, the capital city of Volta Region on Friday June 10, 2022.
Addressing the participants at the event, Executive Director of Youth Advocates Ghana, Emmanuel Ametepey observed the purpose of the engagement was to consult youth-led and youth-driven groups and organizations in Ghana to make contributions to the Youth SDGs Report, Ghana, as part of the Voluntary National Review for 2022.
He underscored the importance of the meaningful youth participation in the Voluntary National Review process as a key to echoing the voices of young people while at the same time contributing towards the achievement of the SDGs.
“We can achieve more when insights and innovations and perspectives of young people are harnessed”.
He charges the participants to be open minded, speak up their minds and contribute their insights meaningfully to the conversation to help enrich the 2022 Youth SDGs Report.
According to him, the reports would not sit only in Accra but would be considered as inputs into the national report which would be presented at the upcoming High Level Political Forum slated for July at the Washington D.C in New York (US).
“This report we’re generating would fit into Ghana’s report and we would have the opportunity to share this report at the highest level.
And so there’s the need for us to bring out all the issues that are happening in within our communities, let’s talk about the innovations, let’s talk about the challenges, the successes and how best can we partner government, the UN, the private sector, how best can civil societies position themselves to become a voice to the reckon with in terms with the implementation of the SDGs”.
He commended the UNFPA for demonstrating unflinching commitment and support towards his outfit at all times in execution of their activities and projects focused on youth development and implementation of the SDGs.
“We want to thank the UNFPA for providing not only the funding but a very important technical support (expertise that the UN have) at any time we knock on their doors, they’re ready to provide inputs, ready to shape the conversation, they are ready to ensure that we are able to create the balance between what we do and what they do. “There’s nothing like manipulation, it is a working relationship we have enjoyed over the years and we want to appreciate them for the support that they have provided over the years”.
While also applauding the NDPC for their representation, linking them with the key stakeholders and provision of technical support towards their events, he quickly seized the opportunity to appeal to them to endeavor to help create the opportunity for the youth to be part of the government delegation who will be attending this year’s UN High Level Political Forum at the Washington DC in New York (US).
For his part, Ishmael Kwasi Selassie, Programme Analyst, ASRH of UNFPA Ghana, averred that his outfit is excited to support YAG to organize this year’s consultative workshop on the Youth SDGs Report because it believes in meaningful participation, meaningful youth engagement in supporting young people to take up leadership positions and sit in places that matters and have their voices and aspirations reflected in national development processes, a key part of the principles which underpins the works of the United Nations Agencies.
He expressed utmost optimism that the engagement of young people from various parts of the country at the forum would bring a strong reflection on their legalities, aspirations and expectations as a true representation of Ghana to the outside world as far as the 2022 Youth SDGs Report and implementation of SDGs in Ghana are concerned.
Present at the forum include a representative from the National Development Planning Committee (NDPC), Mad. Patience Ampomah, the Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG), Mr. Joseph Wemakor, the Executive Director of McGharbins Network, Mr. Albert Gharbin and a rep. from the Ghana Civil Society Organizations Platform on SDGs.
View photos from workshop below:
By Joseph Wemakor