European Youth call for more than just words in Rio

Pressemitteilung des Europäischen Jugendforums zu Rio+20:

European Young People will gather in Rio, Brazil next week for the final push to Sustainable Development. The conference, with a focus on greening the global economy and reform structures of the UN, is the first one in ten years to address such issues. 3,000 young people have registered to attend Rio+20 (more than any other group), but the conference remains on a knife edge.

After a week of final pre-negotiations (informal-Informals), young people from around Europe are calling for European states and in particular the European Union to make Rio a success. Goals and targets which could be in the form of Sustainable Development Goals, that take over from the Millennium development Goals when they end in 2015, are key to achieving action for youth.

Young people congratulate the EU to push for time bound (non-binding) targets to make Rio a success. The themes that the European Union has put on the table (Oceans, Water, Land Degeneration, Resources & Waste, and Food) are positive but youth of Europe are calling on action in 4 thematic areas:

// EDUCATION: any global agreement must embed sustainable development in all formal education and recognise the role that Non-Formal Education has in giving the skills, confidence and take action on sustainable development. TARGET: to support 50 percent of young people to have access to non-formal education by 2030.

// EMPLOYMENT: Never before has the globe had more young people, never before have more young people been unemployed. European leaders must push for a global strategy to create decent green jobs to tackle youth unemployment. TARGET: reduce youth unemployment by 30 percent by 2030.

// PARTICIPATION: Participation and the Principle 10 of Agenda 21 (the outcome of Rio 1992) are key to achieving active society that listens to young people: TARGET: for effective national youth councils to exist in every state by 2030.

// GENDER & HEALTH: Young Women and Girls are damaged by the contenting discrimination they face and in particular the lack of sexual and reproductive health service. Governments must commit to abolishing discrimination of women and young girls and invest in empowering them. TARGET: Provide by 2030 universal sexual and reproductive health services for all.

To achieve these we need structures and youth are calling for:

// An ombudsmen for future Generations at all levels (such as already exists in Hungary), including a UN High Commissioner to give global political leadership and oversight for the long term.

// Upgrade UNEP to become UN Environment Specialised Agency coordinating and streamlining the 500 environmental agreements with youth involved in governance at all levels.

// SD council under under GA to provide strong political leadership for sustainable development and make sure that Sustainable Development it at the centre of the political debate.

European Youth Forum board member, Lloyd Russell-Moyle at the closing informal-informals plenary stated that ”we will not let you down, don’t let us down“ continuing that „goals and targets and the institutions to achieved and monitor them is needed. Listen to Your Children And Young People take action today.”

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