8th meeting - 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (2018 HLPF)


My name is Judith Kitinga, I am here as part of Restless Development and will be speaking on behalf of the United Nations Major Group of Children and Youth.

The SDGs recognise that strategic investments in children and youth are key to building sustainable and resilient societies ensuring that all human beings can fulfill their potential. Yet children and youth, who represent more than half of the global population, are extremely underrepresented in the forum. We call for increased age balance on panels.

The lack of institutional capabilities and coherence in policy design and implementation remains one of the major obstacle in Least Developed Countries, LandLocked Developing Countries, Middle Income Countries and Small Island Developing States.


In order to strengthen institutional structures ensuring efficient policies and a better allocation of structural resources within national institutions, we recommend increasing institutional, financial and systemic resources in these vulnerable regions including:


Enabling renewable/hybrid and off-grid energy solutions, resilient housing structures, improved town and country planning using systems assessment and planning approaches are some of the aspects where Science Technology and Innovation could contribute to great extent;

A shift away from the neoliberal economic paradigm that pursues profit and growth over people and planet is key to ensuring the rights of people are maintained, and that the environment is not left vulnerable to corporate plunder. Funding to increase access to health services should be prioritize; Urgent reforms on trade, finance and transport systems are needed to connect us with the global economy and improve our lives.

Therefore, focusing on caring relationships and environments is key to ensuring that children can thrive. In order to truly achieve Sustainable Development we must start by focusing on those who have been left furthest behind, children and youth, and specifically those most at risk, for example children lacking parental care in migrant transiting routes, conflict and economic disadvantaged settings. Children’s and young people’s rights, conceived in these walls, must be prioritized and fulfilled in all countries actions and policies to increase resilience and address the impacts of climate change, natural disasters, conflict and displacement in Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, Middle Income Countries, and Small Island Developing States.

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