New York, 22 May 2020
Accountability, it can sound quite dry and quite abstract, I know.
But it is actually very important, and pretty simple: it is about holding powerful stakeholders responsible for their commitments and actions. If young people are not part of measuring progress of the SDGs and adjusting our strategies accordingly, we will be leaving the most vulnerable groups behind. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic – which has affected all our lives – this conversation is more important than ever.
We often see that young people do not have a seat at the decision making table, but they still find creative and innovative informal ways to participate. Whether this is through their own work, campaigns to improve meaningful youth participation, shadow reporting, providing citizen-generated data, designing their own youth-led monitoring frameworks or championing awareness of the SDGs at the local and national level – they are committed to making the 2030 Agenda a success.
This is why today we are launching a new working paper, titled “Believe in Better”. It has been developed in partnership between my office and ActionAid Denmark, supported by Restless Development and the Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY). Believe in Better provides a snapshot of some of the lived experiences of young people around the world, based on their stories and feedback. It also provides concrete recommendations for governments, civil society and international organizations on how to make accountability processes more inclusive of young people in all their diversity.
I hope that this will be a useful advocacy tool for all of us, and that it will inspire further action to put youth-led accountability front and center of the Decade of Action and the 10 years left to deliver on the SDGs.
United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth