#Article (Archive)

The young could play a lead role in advancing the MDGs

Dec 8, 2011, 2:02 PM

With just four years to the dateline of the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we therefore choose to look at the role youth could play in advancing the global development agenda.

Youth could play a pivotal role in the attainment of all the eight goals of the MDGs which seek to address issues of poverty, attainment of basic education, gender equality, health and the combat of major diseases, environmental sustainability and developing global partnerships for development.

Out of the eight goals, five explicitly refer to young people in terms of educational attainment, gender balance in education, improved maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases, and developing decent employment opportunities for young people.

With just four years to the dateline of the MDGs, many countries are still struggling to attain the set targets for some of the goals. Developing and under-developed countries, especially in our part of the world, are having mixed response.

It has been noted that while some countries are on the course in achieving the goals, many are far from attaining even half of them.

Despite the fact that a lot of young people all over the world each day contribute to the achievements of the MDGs, one way or the other more effort is needed to reach the height of achieving them.

It is also a fact that the youth could play an important role in the attainment of the MDGs either as groups or as individuals.

This could be done by initiating small projects and programmes in our communities to serve the cause of humanity.

Youth could also help in the cause of the MDGs by either serving as teachers, nurses, doctors, policy advocate, or environment advocates.

They organise projects, seminars, educational programmes and concerts to raise awareness and reminding government of their commitment.

Young people in various events join the force to ensure that the MDGs are prioritised and attended to accordingly by all and sundry.

Having played such important roles over the years, young people today including Gambian youth, still share the view that the MDGs cannot be achieved without their effective and meaningful involvement.

Young people through their interactions share best practices and exchange ideas on how the youth can help to accelerate attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

Four years to the deadline to achieving the development goals agreed on in 2000, it is now clear that a youth-oriented focus on the goals is required and essential for the efforts to be effective and sustainable.

 The challenge for the youth now is to build more interest on the MDGs and see what more they could do towards attaining the Goals.