Young Jordanians weigh in on post-2012 development goals in Amman forum

by Khetam Malkawi | Mar 14, 2013 | 21:50

AMMAN — Arab youths have led calls for reform and they were in the forefront of those who demanded modernisation and development in their countries, HRH Princess Basma said on Thursday.

Thus, the princess added, young people should have the largest and most important role in the formation of their future and the future of this world.

Addressing a group of young Jordanians, the princess, who is also a goodwill ambassador for the UNFPA, said: “You are participating now” in drafting goals that are in line with your priorities in this era, which is witnessing big changes that have been sweeping the world over the past few years.

The princess, who made the remarks at the opening of the “Jordan Youth National Consultation Meeting on Post-2012”, added that young people have a lot to say to form their future, but their chances to be heard are few.

“This meeting is a precious opportunity” for them to have their voices heard by decision makers, she noted.

The two-day meeting, which is organised by UNFPA in partnership with the Higher Youth Council, and attended by 100 young people, is a result of a series of consultations that the UNFPA has facilitated to give the younger generation a voice in shaping the global development agenda after the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

It is one of a number of UN-led consultations in the country on the shape of the post-2015 global development agenda.

Muna Mohammed Idris, UNFPA assistant representative in Jordan, said the forum is being held to give young people an opportunity to share their perspectives on their future within the global context and to build a coalition with those attending the meeting to work as an advisory panel for UNFPA Jordan country office youth-related programmes.

In a speech delivered by World Food Programme Country Director Maha Ahmed on behalf of UN Resident Coordinator Costanza Farina, the UN official said Jordan has made considerable progress in achieving the majority of the MDGs, as well as the level of preparations and readiness for the development agenda beyond 2015.

She added that young Jordanians have a role to play, especially with all the challenges and changes they are facing, as they are the only ones able to respond to these challenges in innovative ways.

“Today, with good investment and correct guidance, the youth can reach their full potential as individuals, leaders and as agents of progress,” she noted.

In addition to the participants in the consultation, youths all over Jordan are able to contribute to the meeting virtually through Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks.

This event is part of a series of activities that are taking place in different countries to come up with the necessary data to finalise a framework for the MDGs post-2015 and to identify development priorities for the post-2015 agenda as well as the ICPD Beyond 2014 process.

The MDGs are drawn from the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declaration that was adopted during the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000.

The eight MDGs are reducing child mortality, eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, improving maternal health, combating diseases such as HIV/AIDS, ensuring environmental sustainability and creating global partnerships for development.

A total of 191 states, including Jordan, have committed themselves to achieving these goals by the year 2015.

The International Conference on Population and Development

• In 1994, 179 countries met in Cairo for the ICPD, where all aspects of human life were addressed comprehensively

• A 20-year programme of action was developed recognising that population is not about numbers but about people’s quality of life

• All 179 countries agreed that education and health rights, including reproductive health rights are a prerequisite for sustainable development

• They also agreed on a road map for progress with the following main goals:

– Universal access to reproductive health services by 2015

– Universal primary education/closing the gender gap in education by 2015

– Reducing maternal mortality by 75% by 2015

– Reducing infant mortality

– Increasing life expectancy

– Reducing HIV infection rates

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