Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Regional Consultations Post-2015 in Istanbul, 6-8 November 2013

CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality was present at the Regional Consultation on 'Inclusive and Sustainable Development: Perspectives from Europe and Central Asia on the Post-2015 Development Agenda'. Youth Advocates Michiel Andeweg and Timo Bravo Rebolledo provided more information of the event and the presented Youth Statement, made in consultation of a broad range of youth representatives.

The regional consultations are targeted to capture ideas and feelings on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the different global regions. The SDGs are a new set of goals agreed up
on by member states during Rio+20 (the UN conference on Sustainable development). The outcome of the regional consultations will culminate in a report which will be used at the General Assembly of 2014.

As the title of the event suggests, this event was a regional consultation on the perspectives from Europe and Central Asia. However, the structure of the programme had the outline of a seminar and less so of a consultation, i.e. with known panelists and not a lot of room for debate and knowledge transfer. Preceding the event, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) had the opportunity to prepare input for the thematic sessions with Member States. On the 7th of November a kick-off session was held in which Civil Society presented the main conclusions and key issues to the Member States.

Some of the key issues from the CSOs involved gender equality regarding the whole spectrum, Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in school curricula, decriminalisation of abortion, accessible, affordable and youth friendly sexual and reproductive health services. But there was also a demand for accountable governments and responsibility for natural environments. During the kick-off sessions there were a lot of delegates present, which should be considered a great advantage!

Because the emphasis on human rights and issues on SRHR, Youth, CSE and abortion are too easily overlooked or downplayed during these kinds of consultations, the present youth representatives made a collaborative effort to state demands coming from our region. Please find the statement here.

CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality is a Dutch youth-led organization that actively promotes and supports the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of young people worldwide. You can read more about CHOICE here.