Nov 12, 2018
By the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth
Sustainability in ASEAN
The Sendai Framework approaches Sustainable Development through a prevention agenda - as the only way to sustain development is by risk-proofing it. This is also the entry point of different stakeholders, from humanitarian to peace builders, to youth and women.
In the Asia-Pacific region, the most disaster-prone area of the world, ASEAN’s vision for disaster management towards 2025 provides an institutional framework for multi-stakeholder engagement. The young generation is the backbone of the region, with more than half of its 600 million people are under 30. 8 out of the 10 ASEAN member states have youth seats in governance. Because youth are not only leaders of the future, but also present leaders of their respective local communities -- we need formally recognized youth councils to enable young people to influence policy and build leadership skills to transcend victimhood, as agents of their own sustainable development.
“Because youth are not only leaders of the future, but also present leaders of their respective local communities.“
ASEAN Youth DRR Network
Given these existing collective capabilities, the establishment of an ASEAN Youth Network for DRR (AYN-DRR) between the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Centre and the Committee for ASEAN Youth Cooperation is proposed as a means to continue harnessing the strengths of young ASEAN researchers, scientists, entrepreneurs, doctors, educators, policy advocates and other professionals towards natural and man-made disaster risk reduction. Students from the Philippines have used sports, recreation and technology to strengthen humanitarian action. FoPo is one social enterprise that turns nearly expired fruits and vegetables to food powder during disaster relief operations. In Malaysia, AIESEC-UTM works with Soroptimist Johor and UNHCR on a recruitment system for volunteer teachers in refugee schools.
But more than this - Science and technology are reshaping our institutions at a more dynamic rate than ever before, as new forms of interactions occur between institutions and peoples,. Our generation is key to a sixth type of sustainable livelihoods capital - one that is digital, to be mastered individually, and collectively, in order to ensure that nobody is left behind, online and offline.
Science and technology play a key role in bridging a region of archipelagos, diverse cultures and political affiliations, and even economic capacities. Regional responders, including youth volunteers, are trained with the latest online skills and technical know how’s in emergency management.
Why young people?
First, there are many benefits of children and youth participating in DRR: on a personal level - personal development and skills and self-efficacy; for young-adult partnership- it helps build sustainable relationships, recognize each other’s strengths/assets.
Second, involving young people in disaster governance have multiplier and inter-generational effects. they can become a leader of the behavioural change.
How can we engage young people?
Beyond tokenism, if children and youth are given the opportunity they can shape the policy dialogues in order to reach the society we all want.
Harvesting youth’s innovative abilities and their talents as communicators and translators of new DRR technologies, especially by acknowledging that young people are in fact ‘professionals’ – disaster monitoring, social media
Institutionalizing the meaningful participation of children and youth in decision making and policy design, in all corridors, venues and platforms as well as fostering our initiatives that aim at reviewing and monitoring the implementation of the Sendai Framework in a bottom-up all inclusive approach to DRR.
Reaching out to youth that do not have the opportunity to be present at such spaces as today, ones that are most vulnerable and marginalized, to invest in building their capacities in the areas of DRR for them to be the true agents of change that we are positive they can be
2 pronged approach to meaningful youth engagement: How do we not replicate the inequitable structures in the next generation of leaders?
The importance of local agency, learning from women’s and other community movements. UNMGCY – nexus, regional. Time and time again, we have shown that young people are capable, willing, and ready to be part of the solution in building a resilient society for all.