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Ghanaian youth set the pace in amplifying the ICPD’s unfinished agenda by organizing a youth SWOP Launch

5 May 2019

The universal pursuit of rights and choices for all remains a daunting task for nations across the world even though some are making some progress towards realizing the achievements of sexual and reproductive health rights for women and girls as well as rights for all gender, there are still existing barriers that must be cleared by all relevant stakeholders. Leading the launch, a youth advocate who is also a media person, Emmanuel Gamor, said “our exuberance to take risks and dream may solve tomorrow’s problem thereby fulfilling our capacities as the leaders of the next generation. The time for the youth to be engaged in the discussion of population growth and its repercussions is now.

As UNFPA celebrates its 50 years of existence alongside 25 years of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme, the Fund’s flagship publication the “State of World Population” (SWOP) report, titled: Unfinished Business, the pursuit of rights and choices for all was launched globally and here in Ghana. However, the Youth Leadership Fellows, (YoLe) of UNFPA Ghana organised a youth launch with a call for all-inclusive participation in achieving the ICPD agenda.


Cross section of the youth at the youth SWOP launch

Highlighting the inclusion of the youth in attaining the sexual and reproductive health rights for The YoLe SWOP launch, was to emphasize the role of young people in UNFPA’s quest of achieving the three transformative results of Zero:  

  1. unmet need for family planning,
  2. preventable maternal deaths, and
  3. gender-based violence and harmful practices

 

They used the launch to explain the unfinished business: the pursuit of rights and choices for all in a dialogue with other young people to explore innovative ways of attaining complete SRHR for women and girls.

The UNFPA Representative, Niyi Ojoulape stated that “we cannot speak of population and development without talking about young people and their inclusion in these efforts, hence, the launch is a call on all young people, who are a majority of Africa’s population, to get engaged in the discourse on the ICPD agenda so that they can be abreast of issues and see how their contributions can accelerate results for sustainable development. Also, he hopes that the summit will entreat all participants commit to the ICPD agenda.

The youth-led panel discussion elaborated on the role of the youth in addressing diverse population and development issues and the Sustainable Development Goals as a whole. The youth present pledged to innovatively advocate for the rights for women and girls.


Esther a visually impaired student fro University of Ghana in a panel discussion with YoLe

 

“Bringing young people together is the best way. In my own way, as an advocate for SRH, I would continue to volunteer to educate and mentor more adolescents in my community alongside engaging policy makers to be accountable”. Esinam Amuzu

 

Erica Ehiamah added “I love the fact that the program was organized by the Yole fellows to talk about issues that affect the community. The ‘Unfinished business’, brings to light my contribution to ensuring that a complete sexuality education empowerment for young people in the communities is achieved. UNFPA should continue engaging young people because we are the change.

 

The Executive Director of the NPC, Dr. Leticia Appiah advised the youth to be responsible for the children they produce and not replicate population wrong doings. Some participants shared their experience; UNFPA actively partners with young people and strengthen their capacity to advance human rights and developmental issues because, empowered youth are effective drivers of change to addressing issues that affect them in the society.

 

The event, gathered representatives from Ghana’s National Youth Authority (NYA), National Population Council (NPC), Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), various youth-led organizations and other individuals passionate about population and development.

The SWOP report is the flagship publication of the United Nations Population Fund-UNFPA which outlines the agency’s activities in supporting matters in population and development.