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Africa Youth Conference Adopts Declaration on MDGs, Post-2015 Agenda

4 January 2013: The African Youth Conference on Post-2015 Development Agenda, held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 12-16 December 2012, has adopted a Youth Declaration on the Post-2015 Agenda. This Agenda identifies 13 actions for accelerating progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and makes recommendations for the post-2015 development agenda.

Convened by the Organization of African Youth, with the support of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, the Conference reviewed progress on the MDGs, discussed the future of youth in the post-2015 agenda and addressed African countries' commitments on creating jobs and reducing youth unemployment.

On accelerating MDG progress, the Declaration recommends that governments: increase commitments to achieve the MDGs and honor pledges; strengthen institutions to fight corruption and empower youth; and provide sufficient resources to children, women and youth ministries. It also recommends, inter alia: increasing equitable access to sustainable water and sanitation services and promoting hygienic behavior; planning and implementing poverty eradication programs to reach youth; strengthening communication, data collection and monitoring; and empowering and mobilizing youth to participate in the MDGs and hold governments accountable. The Declaration asks the UN and its development partners to support projects that mitigate climate change and encourage sustainable consumption. It calls for civil society to engage communities to understand the causes of poverty and to address these challenges.

Recommendations for the post-2015 agenda are organized around six themes: climate change, environmental sustainability and food security; education and technology; good governance, peace and security; health; social justice, protection of minorities and vulnerable groups; and youth empowerment and employment. The African youth declare a “climate emergency for Africa requiring urgent and tangible sustainable interventions.” The Declaration further states mitigation measures are not sufficient, calls for adaptation measures and recommends integrating climate issues into the development agenda. The Declaration also recommends the promotion of, inter alia: climate smart agriculture to promote adaptation and food security; sustainable water resources for urban and rural populations; and sustainable urban cities.

To ensure the Declaration is presented to the High-Level Panel (HLP) on the Post-2015 Agenda, participants intend to form an African Youth Working Group on Post-2015. The Group aims to continue African youth participation in the post-2015 agenda. [UN-HABITAT Press Release] [Youth Declaration on the Post-2015 Agenda] [Conference Website]