Yes! As you can see on the proceedings of the 19th to 21st July 2016, we had the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development 14 (UNCTAD 14) Youth Forum being held in Nairobi, Kenya.
The diversity of backgrounds represented at the first UNCTAD Youth Forum, as well as the online forum, was a major asset itself for UNCTAD 14. With over 250 participants from 70 different countries and 140 different nationalities, along with 1000 participants who contributed online, this provides a truly global view on the tools needed to operationalize the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in terms of trade and development.
The UNCTAD 14 Youth Forum Theme was, “Moving towards an inclusive and equitable global economic environment for trade and development”. This time having the first ever global Youth Forum held by the United Nations. A one of its kind!
As said by UNCTAD Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi, Youth must have a say on what is prepared for vision 2030, it’s their opportunity to step in and not out again. As the youth, this was a great platform to air and come up with a declaration document focusing on three major issues;
- Quality Education
- More and Better Jobs
- State accountability
This document was a product of months of work, preparation, outreach, consultation, analysis and evaluations which culminated at the youth forum through the three different groups according to the issues, and was based on previous online consultations, in person meetings, and interaction in the formal segments of the UNCTAD 14 conference. In these groups, we managed to find the challenges and solutions to them basing on the UNCTAD’s Mandate on the same.
We had the honour of having the Deputy Secretary General, Commonwealth Secretariat, Hon Deodat Maharaj, speaking to the youth on the works of Commonwealth and its Youth networks. He stressed that Youth have been given the voice what they need to do is act, “Build yourself, push, without that there is no way you are going to make a progress”
Global statement of unity on issues of trade and development was reached following the adoption of the Nairobi consensus documents— Nairobi Azimio and Nairobi Maafikiano.”I am confident that the implementation of the Azimio and Maafikiano declarations will enable us to accelerate progress towards shared prosperity,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya, when he addressed the closing ceremony.
Finally, as humanity ushers in a new age of sustainable development young people have proven that they have the knowledge, experience, and passion to make transformative and substantive inputs in every process they have been given a space to participate in.