Leave no-one behind: Meaningful participation in the new SDGs

Key Correspondent, Nina Kouassi, will chair a panel debate tomorrow at the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Summit (24-27 September).

nina2The youth-led event is : Young people leading change: how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets to end the AIDS epidemic and ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health services will be met.

In her most recent article, Nina looks at the sexual and reproductive health related SDGs, and questions whether the explicit commitments can be met, and whether the ‘leave no-one behind’ rhetoric associated with these new goals can be put into practice.

Involve, involve, involve

Nina argues that participation is key to reaching everyone, yet laws and stigma that discriminate against the most affected hinder this process, citing sex workers in South Africa as one example of people often left behind.

She draws on the opinions of influential people, including youth leaders and Ban-Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General, to show the widespread support for the meaningful involvement of young people, which of course also cuts across stigmatized groups such as LGBT people, sex workers and people who use drugs.

In the run up to the new goals, the rhetoric of leave no-one behind and ensuring young people have a seat at the table is loud and clear, Nina argues that for this not be tokenistic they “must also be a part of the process to implement the SDGS targets”.

The debate will continue tomorrow in New York.

Related info:

The invite with details of tomorrow’s event (24 September).

Read Nina’s article in full here.

Nicole, who Nina refers to in her article, tells her story of selling sex in South Africa.