Today, Martin Ulvestad Østerdal, from the Norwegian Children and Youth Council (LNU) delivered a statement on behalf of the UN Major Group for Children and Youth to the plenary meeting of the Habitat III PrepCom1 at the UN Headquarters in NY.
Martin reminded the delegates attending the PrepCom1 about the importance of engaging and listening to youth, children and future generations since they are the ones who will inherit this new habitat agenda being discussed, and will be directly affected by decisions taken today.
He also reminded us that in order to tackle the challenges we face today, we really will need a tailored and ambition new development agenda. The way we plan our existing cities and address the issue of new cities will determine what SDGs are fulfilled and who is left behind.
The agenda needs to go beyond its focus on just Urban, and focus on an agenda for human settlements everywhere, and it needs to be inclusive of everyone, specially women and young people.
Finally, Martin called attention of all the government delegations attending the PrepCom1 that Youth Participation must not be a one off event. That we can no longer accept hand picked youth participation discussing topics defined by others as youth issues. Youth participation needs to be representative, independent and with emphasis on the whole political process.
The new urban agenda needs to maximise our holistic human development and minimise our ecological footprint. And the only way to achieve that is through dialog, participation and partnerships with the people living in the city/ these places, including youth and children. Nothing about us without us.
Read the full statement delivered today here!