Belize participates in International Youth Forum Print E-mail
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Thursday, 04 February 2016 00:00

elodio aragon.jpg - 70.67 KbMinister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr. and CARICOM Youth Ambassador Eric Sanchez participated in this year’s International Youth Forum on Sustainable Development on February 1st and 2nd, 2016. This Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York under the auspices of the ECOSOC President His Excellency Mr. Oh Joon.

The theme of the forum was “Implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Moving from Commitments to Results”. H.E. Joon listed unemployment, poverty, climate change, and inequality as issues needing to be addressed through a cross-cutting and interconnected approach.

In plenary sessions, Minister Aragon stated that Belize is finalizing its National Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (GSDS) which mainstreams the United Nations Post-2015 Sustainable Development Framework. The GSDS identifies clear policy aims together with subsidiary goals and targets to achieve a national vision comprising of a strong economy featuring optimal national income and robust growth, a resilient society, healthy environment, citizen security and good governance.

The Minister also emphasized that youth participation is at the heart of our national development vision and that Belize’s National Youth Development Policy has, as one of its goals, to ensure that young people are empowered to achieve optimal economic and social wellbeing while taking care of the natural environment. Minister Aragon made further interventions on the panel discussing Global Initiatives on Decent Jobs for Youth.

In addressing the gathering Minister Aragon gave a brief overview on the Government of Belize’s Initiatives that encourage and support employment for young people.

“I believe that this forum highlights the importance and vitality of young people across the globe and the need for each government to do its part in supporting, empowering and creating the opportunities for them to become the pacesetters that they are, and for them to be able to become the future society that shapes its own destiny,” remarked Minister Aragon.

The main purpose of the forum was to bring the voice of youth into the intergovernmental debate on how to make the post-2015 development agenda a reality on national, regional and international levels. The forum provided a platform for young people to dialogue with Member States and other actors on concrete commitments and actions to realize the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted in September, 2015. The forum identified possible avenues for young people to contribute to the intergovernmental review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, as well ways that youth can partner with the UN system, civil society and Governments to ensure implementation.

ECOSOC Youth Forum 2016 featured opening and closing plenary sessions with representatives from youth organizations, high-level officials and other Keynote speakers. The participants of the forum included national and regional youth delegates, Ministers of Youth, representatives from the permanent Missions of Member States to the UN, UN Major Group for Children and Youth and other multilateral organizations.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 February 2016 15:22