Right from the outset CSW youth forum was going to be historic. 300 strong we were there to make a statement. We were there to represent the young people and make sure The United Nations commission on the status of women considered young people in their outcome document.
The sessions were packed with speeches from key UN staff as well as young people who have shown that young people when given the opportunity can achieve great things. We were spoilt by the knowledge and expertise that was in the room. These included special UN Envoy Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and many more.
That being said, young people - the real world changemakers - spoke and we were listened to. We were consulted and we were heard. Being able to influence the outcome document at CSW was a great example of great youth advocacy.
We were able to sit on the Drafting Committee for the Youth Forum outcome statement. The challenge was to compile recommendations of youth delegates to make a youth declaration.
We used this opportunity to give out our suggestions as well on the issues of CEFM& FGM, and youth engagement in general in the implementation of the SDGs.
We’re happy to say we achieved our goal, and the first draft had clear provisions addressing CEFM and FGM. This Youth Declaration was delivered in-person to head of the CSW Chair Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota.
In the words of one youth delegate:
This alliance has just begun. With plans for another CSW Youth Forum next year we are excited to see how this will develop. True youth advocacy is hard to find and I am glad to have been at CSW Youth Forum.
Watch Harry & Athuman's reflections on the Youth Forum below: