This year’s CPD is unique because whatever resolution is passed will be absorbed into the process for deciding the replacement to the Millennium Development Goals – known as the post-2015 process.
This is crucial for development and will have a wide impact – not least on youth.
Different world regions face different problems, but there is common ground for all the young people taking part in the 47th session of CPD.
That common ground is found when it comes to meaningful youth participation, SRHR and human rights for everyone.
These rights include the right to make informed decisions and the right to be free from any form of violence.
Violence often occurs when people lack information, so it is vital to provide as much evidence-based information as possible through comprehensive sexuality education (CSE). CSE is one of the main asks on young people’s wish-list here in New York.
If implemented appropriately, CSE will provide age-appropriate evidence-based information for young people that will allow individuals to make decisions about their sexuality and rights and respects those of other people.
‘Why did we, as young people, come here?’ The answer is quite simple: We want to see a change in the world.
A change that will be based on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action decided at the Cairo summit 20 years ago as well as on the current needs of young people around the globe.
Governments should develop policies and measures that will ensure the changes we are striving for are implemented, and also that the voice of young people is taken into account. For instance, we require our voices to be heard when it comes the matter of abortion. We believe that girls and women, just like everyone else, have the right to make decisions concerning their own bodies.
In case of an unintended pregnancy, comprehensive safe and legal abortion should be available for all young women and girls, free of charge and without judgement. This is to prevent health problems, girls dropping out of school and inability to provide to care for a child, which could have devastating consequences on their future lives. These facts must not be disregarded!
Furthermore, we, young people, recognize that we are diverse and therefore must be recognized in all our diversity, including youth who are of different sexual orientation, gender identity/expressions (SOGIE), disabled, living with HIV/AIDS, migrants and many others.
We hope that our diversity can be embraced rather than condemned.