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Georgian youth activists involve in Global Dialogues contest

Youth activists from Georgian organization Real People, Real Vision (ASTRA Youth member) have engaged in the global contest Global Dialogues. The contest aims to gather youth stories on HIV/AIDS, sexuality, violence against girls and women, drugs, alcohol and sex through submission of short videos.  The contest serves as an opportunity to break the ice on taboo subjects and enable young people on issues important to them.

Real People, Real Vision ensured engagement of young people living with HIV (PLHIV), drug users and LGBTQ youth and managed to gather 153 stories from this group, out of which six got to the gloval level and one was chosen among the thirty best submissions. Moreover, Georgia had its representative in the Global Jury of the contest. As a follow-up action, Real People Real Vision is planning to organize a youth outdoor exhibition on the International Youth Day. 

Statement on Adolescents and Youth in Post 2015

Statement on Adolescents and Youth in Post 2015

Presented by: Tania Martinez, Espolea, Mexico

Dear co-facilitators, member states, colleagues:

As many of you know, children, adolescents and young people across the world, of all identities, ethnicities and cultures have mobilized throughout this process to ensure our rights and priorities are at the center of the post 2015 agenda. We have sought, alongside many people and governments in this room, the creation of a transformative agenda that recognizes us as the generation that will carry this agenda forward. We appreciate your partnership efforts.

Keeping the delicate political balance in mind, the endeavor of technical proofing is indeed brave. We support this undertaking if it increases the ambition of the agenda.

On a positive note, we welcome the revision to target 1.5 and the inclusion of humanitarian emergencies, which many children, adolescents and young people are adversely affected by, and which needs to be addressed.

Despite this, many of our core concerns continue to be ignored.

1. Young people, especially indigenous young people, depend on their lands, forests and ecosystems, which for many of them is their home, livelihood, source of food and medicine, and holds important cultural, spiritual and community significance. We do not support the change to target 15.1 and 15.2 that call for an additional ten year time frame during which time even more forests will be destroyed. Moreover, the targets under Goal 15 must include substantially increased reforestation and ecosystem restoration and a clear and immediate commitment to implement these actions.

2. Control over our bodies and access to accurate information is critical to ensure all children, adolescents and youth can make fully informed decisions, stay healthy, and achieve our rights. Although Goal 4 on education has increased in its level of ambition, we are disappointed about the continued omission and controversial perception of comprehensive sexuality education, informal and nonformal education, and indigenous knowledge.

Furthermore, we must ensure that the implementation of this agenda happens across its full fifteen year lifespan. We look forward to continue working with you in the implementation of this agenda.

To conclude, in the words of Dr Seuss: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It simply is not.”

Collaborators:International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission,Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP),World Assembly of Youth,UN MGCY,SOS Children’s Villages,Muslims for Progressive Values,LGBTIQ Constituency AP-RCEM,International Planned Parenthood Federation,Russian Fair Trade Organization,Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights,ASTRA Youth,Advocates for Youth,Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues,YouAct,Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR),WOMEN ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMME,Espolea A.C.,ACT!2015,Caribbean Leadership Network on Population and Development.

The statement is acessible here.

“A Vision for Urgent Action on health,education and development” statement at 7th July IGN session

“A Vision for Urgent Action on health, education and development”

I am speaking on behalf of civil society working in the area of education and the Health in the Post-2015 NGO Coalition, whose statement is signed by over 50 organizations.

Education and health for all are critical factors to enable the fulfillment of the entire SDG agenda, a fact that should be explicit in the Declaration. It should state clearly that all governments will work towards achieving the full set of goals and targets. This requires specific and time-bound actions and not -- as now weakly worded for non-communicable diseases, “ to devoting greater efforts”.

We expect Member States to deliver quality, essential, affordable services for education and health, for all. Public private partnerships must be entered into with extreme caution, and with strong regulation and accountability mechanisms in place, and with protection from policymaking.

We wish to highlight the following specific issues:

On education: Delivering quality education for all at all levels is the prime responsibility of the state. But the role of organisations, particularly youth organisations, in delivering non-formal or out-of-school education, which provides wider skills and personal development, should also be recognized. In para 7,the words ‘quality, equitable and universal’ should all be applied to all of education, health and social protection. Water and sanitation could also be added here.

In para 15, we should include The Incheon Declaration; the International Conference on Population and Development; and the Fourth World Conference on Women. In para 23, we urge inclusion of “Inclusive and equitable” quality education, and “lifelong learning” (not just access), to bring the text into line with Goal 4. In addition, we urge insuring safe school environments, and including education on these key topics: human rights, gender equality, peace, non-violence, comprehensive sexuality education, cultural diversity and sustainable lifestyles.

On health: We appreciate the statements made yesterday by countries, Indonesia, Palau, and Bangladesh and Costa Rica this morning. In the preamble, under PEOPLE, the words “Physical and mental health and wellbeing” should be included. For para 11, we support UK and Sweden to include anti-microbial resistance, which poses a serious health threat.

In para 19, we support the inclusion of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

In para 24, Financial health protection to reach those furthest behind should be included, to achieve universal health coverage. Also, in line with the Maldives on behalf of AOSIS, the third sentence could read “We commit to accelerating the progress made to date in eliminating newborn, infant, child and maternal mortality by eradicating preventable deaths and morbidity by 2030.”

We welcome the suggestions from Member States to strengthen language related to non-communicable diseases to add specific references to ‘prevention and control’ instead of ‘tackling’, and reference to social determinants of health.

A final sentence should also be added: “These efforts together achieve our vision of integrated health, mental health and well-being.” Finally, the Declaration should reflect the environmental dimension of health, recognizing the link between air, water and soil pollution, as well as hazardous chemicals of ecosystems, leading to human health exposure to toxics, and recognizing the dangerous health impacts of climate and environmental change.

The statement is accessible here.

Gender Equality, Women’s Rights and Human Rights Statement at 7th IGN session on Post-2015 Agenda

Tuesday, 21st of July. Statement on the Declaration Delivered by Rineke van Dam from Rutgers

Gender Equality, Women’s Rights and Human Rights

I’d like to highlight the consistent support from governments, UN agencies, and CSO colleagues from around the world, who agree that gender equality, women’s rights and human rights are essential to achieve sustainable development, and must cross-cut the post-2015 agenda. We wear purple today to highlight these concerns and invite you all to join our colour campaign.

The full range of issues vital to achieve gender equality should be reflected throughout the draft and especially paragraph 19. This includes but is not limited to: women’s economic rights, women’s and girl’s participation at all levels, including peace building, and the elimination of all forms of violence against all women and girls. Sexual and reproductive health and rights are inseparable from gender equality and elementary to the aim of this agenda for transformational change.

To reflect existing UN commitments and in line with a large number of member states’ comments yesterday and today, paragraph 15 should refer to the ICPD, the Fourth World Conference on Women, the outcomes of their review conferences and CEDAW, amongst others.

We agree with member states that this draft has improved on human rights - for instance paragraph 18. However, we also agree with many that human rights references still need to be strengthened throughout the text, in specific by adding: non-discrimination in para 7, human rights of all women and girls in para 19 and realizing human rights for all in para 45. Listings should always be open, and include sexual orientation and gender identity. When ‘national policies’ or ‘culture’ are mentioned, the text needs to be balanced with ‘in conformity with international human rights’. Moreover, ‘cultural values in para 8 should be replaced by ‘cultural diversity’ as in para 31.

We support the very many member states yesterday and today calling for the deletion of para 38. If retained, it should refer to the diverse forms in which families exist, and the human rights of individuals within families.

Finally, we reiterate the call by the Netherlands for the rights of adolescents and youth, their empowerment and their meaningful participation to be better reflected. Girls and adolescents should be added to the listing of people in vulnerable situations; paragraph 23 should expand with education on human rights, gender equality and comprehensive sexuality education; and paragraph 46 should refer to meaningful youth participation – in line with Canada’s request today.

The whole statement with endorsements from civil society (including ASTRA Youth, ASTRA Network and Federation for Women and Family Planning), can be accessed here.

Launch of the World Contraception Day Ambassadors Project

Women Deliver in cooperation with Bayer has launched the World Contraception Day Ambassadors Project. The goal of the project is to equip six young leaders with knowledge and skills they need in order to collect and share stories about young people’s SRHR, in particular access to contraception in their home countries.

The project aims to raise awareness on youth SRHR on the national level, debunk myths and combat stigma regarding youth SRHR and contraception and support positive communication among young people on their SRHR.

To find out more about the project, follow it on social media using ‪#‎WCD2015 and ‪#‎WCDStories and visit the project’s website.

Source: WCD

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