Young Members of Parliament from across the world will map out how they will help to deliver on the new generation of development goals at a global conference next week.
The IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians taking place in the Zambian capital, Lusaka, on 16-17 March, aims to engage young MPs at the forefront of efforts to ensure the successful implementation of the ground-breaking Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed by world leaders in 2015. The SDGs commit nations to a series of ambitious targets on reducing inequalities, sustainable economic growth, climate action as well as the eradication of extreme hunger and poverty by 2030.
Under the theme Agenda 2030: Youth leading the way, leaving no one behind, the IPU conference will provide input on enhancing youth political representation and participation. Discussions will be informed by a new IPU report to be launched at the conference on levels of youth representation in parliament globally. The young MPs will also identify what action they can take to address marginalization so that no group in society is excluded from the fair, equitable and sustainable development promised by the SDGs.
During the conference, jointly organized by IPU and the Zambian Parliament, with support from the Japanese non-profit organization Worldwide Support for Development, the young MPs will explore what needs to change among current economic models to ensure equitable development. It will be an opportunity to spotlight young people’s innovations for sustainability, fairness and equity.
Action on climate change and the concerns of future generations will also shape discussions at the IPU Conference. An outcome document to be adopted at the event’s conclusion will feed into the 134th IPU Assembly that immediately follows the young MPs’ conference and which focuses on how to “rejuvenate” democracy.
“This young generation of MPs has to be at the forefront of enacting the global agreements on climate change and SDGs agreed by world leaders last year because they are uniquely placed to ensure no one is left behind,” said IPU President Saber Chowdhury. “Those with a vision for the future are eager to take action now to build a better world for their own generation and those to come. IPU will assist, equip and empower them in this vital work.”
An international line-up of speakers will include the UN Secretary-General’s Representative, Ahmad Alhendawi, and Vinay Nayak, a young specialist in the use of modern technology in politics and digital constituency manager in the Obama 2012 re-election campaign. Zambian Minister for Youth Vincent Mwale and Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Greyford Monde – himself a young MP - will take part in an interactive dialogue on a new era for young people’s rights, freedoms and well-being with the conference participants.
“We are thrilled to be welcoming young MPs from across the world to Zambia, to focus on such a critical policy area as the development agenda,” says Minister Monde. “Young MPs bring a unique perspective to democracy and the work of parliaments. We look forward to drawing inspiration from one another and defining how to deliver better lives to all the citizens we serve.”
IPU’s Global Conferences of Young Parliamentarians enable young MPs to address and influence issues of global significance. They are part of the work of IPU’s Forum of Young Parliamentarians, which works to empower the MPs and support youth engagement in politics.
Watch the Conference webcast live on www.ipu.org
Take part in the debate on Twitter using #youngMPs
Photos will be available on Flickr
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the global organization of national parliaments. It works to safeguard peace and drives positive democratic change through political dialogue and concrete action.