Monday, 12 May 2014

#WCY2014 Negotiations & The Colombo Declaration on Youth

 A pivotal part of the #WCY2014 was the integral dialogue between young people and policy makers. Many countries had representatives of their governments at the negotiations stage of the conference. Unfortunately the UK was unable to send anyone due to budget cuts - so i decided to sneak in and take the seat. 

Other delegates also took this approach including New Zealand, Bolivia, Panama, Argentina and Rwanda. Despite not being able to contribute to to initial negotiations the chair got tired of the same old arguments coming from ministers and we were allowed to take the floor. 

Although at first sitting and listening seemed mundane it felt for the first time we were part of change and our presence alone meant we were part of policy making and at least experiencing how these declarations are put together. 

Many of the more conservative states were sceptical about the wording of recommendations of equality, and furthermore it was interesting to see rivalries between states become apparent. More-so between ministers than the young people. 

The subsequent Colombo Declaration, which was the result of these negotiations will be presented to the UN General Assembly this September, hopefully championed by those ministers in attendance. If any of these recommendations are adopted it means that the work of young people from all over the world will be streamlined into the Post-15 development agenda and hopefully make life for children and young people a lot more simple, safer and fulfilling. Despite a chance of this not happening, we are able to take the work we have done back to our own countries and work with our own governments to help enforce elements of this declaration in our own states. 

If you would like to learn more about the negotiation process as well as the Colombo Declaration please comment below or tweet me directly at @JKSimonds. 

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