Youth Forum: NYC, UN MGCY ambitious to assist Gambian Youth

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Gambia National Youth Council (NYC) and United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth say they are ambitious to support and develop Gambian young people to maintain a continued contribution to nation building.

The two sides have developed a guideline for Programming with and for Young People in Humanitarian settings targeting to empower and develop youth and contribute to national development.

As part of their efforts to improve, empower and develop Gambian youth, the two partners recently organised a daylong consultative forum held at the Friendship Hostel in Bakau. The forum attracted 50 young people across the seven regions and national youth organisations in the country to discuss youth contribution to global efforts of developing guidelines for working with and for young people in humanitarian settings.

In May 2016, the Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Settings was launched during the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. It was endorsed by a multitude of actors working together towards including Member States, UN agencies, I/NGOs, private sector and local organisations.

“As of November 2017, 50 members have signed up to the compact and the number is still growing. The Compact represents the first global collaborative initiative to focus on working with and for young people in Humanitarian settings. Over 50 organisations, including UN entities, and UN MGCY- of which NYC is a member entity, played a significant role in the development of the Compact,” NYC executive director Lamin Darboe said.

UNFPA and IFRC are co-chairs and host the secretariat of the Compact. They convene Compact meeting once every year to review the progress made on its implementation in which young people are involved.

According to the Gambia’s Humanitarian Needs Overview 2016, 427 thousand people were affected by food insecurity, and 182 thousand people needed assistance. This has left not left out the young people, who are usually in the forefront of preparing for, responding to, and are either directly or indirectly affected by disasters and other emergencies.

“As part of NYC initiative to ensure the proactive involvement and engagement of young people in decision-making through formal and official processes, the council will replicate the UN MGCY processes in The Gambia,” Mr. Darboe said.

This, he added would drive the active participation of individuals, children and youth-led organizations to engage, contribute and influence policy decisions at government level, which will put the country in the right footing, and towards the overall achievement of the SDGs.

“This will be done in full cognition of the relevant national, regional and global plans and agendas like “the Gambia National Development Plan 2018-2021, Draft Gambia Program of Action for Youth, Africa Agenda 2063, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Demographic Dividend, Paris (Climate) Agreements,” he said.

The Government and council is committed to working with state departments and satellite institutions, UN agencies, partners and civil society organizations, to draw and align strategies and programmes in-line with compact for young people and to reinforce meaningful youth participation throughout all stages of decision-making.

Author: Lamin Darboe
Source: Picture: National Youth Council and UN Major Group for Children and Youth consultative forum