General News of Sunday, 17 November 2019
Source: Michael Oberteye
The United Nations Youth Ghana National Parliament was on Wednesday, 13th November 2019 launched at parliament house in Accra to enable the youth to influence decisions and local level policies through dialogue.
Themed “Promoting resolution 2250, increasing representation of youth in decision making at all levels,” the UN Ghana Youth Parliament, is modelled on the country’s Parliamentary system and would also serve as a platform for youth of different communities and constituencies to participate in discussing common issues affecting their communities.
The UN Youth Parliament is a project being implemented by the United Nation’s Youth Ghana in partnership with the Parliament of Ghana and the National Youth Authority.
The concept, aside its objectives of promoting dialogue by affording the young parliamentarians the opportunity to dialogue with duty bearers, will also promote young people’s participation by providing equal opportunity for them to contribute positively to societal development by sharing their knowledge and experiences on a common platform.
The project would provide adequate orientation and grooming for successful youth parliamentarians by building their capacity in public speaking, public discourse/dialogue amongst others.
In his keynote address, Deputy Clerk of ICT Committee of Parliament, Alhaji Gombila Ibraham acknowledged the need to involve the youth in decision making.
He said the United Nations Security Council in 2015 unanimously adopted a groundbreaking resolution on youth, peace, and security which recognizes that young people play an important role in maintenance and promotion of international peace and security.
The Security Council, he added also called on all members to increase as appropriate their political, financial, technical and logistical support that takes account of the youth and participation of the youth in peace efforts, conflict and post-conflict situations at regional and international levels.
Despite these resolutions, Alhaji Gombila, however, regretted the “very low youth participation in governance” which said leaves much to be desired
He urged various stakeholders to support this laudable idea towards the implementation of the resolution 2250.
The Deputy Clerk of ICT reiterated commitments made by first Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu and Mr. Ebenezer Agyechour, Head of Table at the Maiden Leadership of Ghana Parliament, to support the youth parliament morally and technically.
His expectations were to see the deliberations of the youth parliament being in line with Ghana’s parliament and give them increased access to contribute their quota to national development.
Alhaji Gombila assured the UN youth parliament of the support of the parliamentary service towards building their capacity.
Director of Public Affairs at Parliament, Madam Kate Addo who lauded the United Nations Youth Ghana for its bold step, however, urged the group to ensure that it maintains its core values for instituting the youth parliament.
She described the new institution as the mouthpiece of Ghanaian youth and urged the incoming members and leadership to champion the cause of the people they seek to represent.
Madam Kate Addo urged the youth to desist from the negative use of abusive language on social media, urging them to instead use the medium to impact society positively.
Country head of UN Youth Ghana, Lilian Sally Addo resolved the commitment of the organization to support hardworking youth to liaise with their MPs.
Explaining the modalities for selection of the representatives of the youth parliament, the country head said forms are available for interested youth to pick and answer how they intend addressing a trending problem in their constituency where those who present the best ideas will be picked for orientation.
Asked how different the UN youth parliament will be from other youth parliaments, the country head said, unlike other youth parliaments which function mostly at the constituency level, the UN youth parliament is national in nature where all constituencies will be duly represented.
“We are looking at using education and entertainment and getting a lot of youth to come out and choose the best youth in every constituency and these youth are going to be involved in a monitoring and evaluation team with their MPs to ensure that there is a youth front that somebody is watching them work hand in hand with the youth,” said Miss Addo.
She describes the youth as today’s leaders, contrary to the ‘future leaders’ mantra, the more reason she believes they must be part of today’s decision-making process.
Various solidarity messages from patrons and directors of the organization including Kofi Agyei, Lawyer Osei, Ambassador Nancy, and Michael Olusegun promised to run with the baton given them and not to disappoint the trust reposed in them, especially with the rest of Africa looking up to Ghana.
Aside being successful and better leaders, the patrons and directors also promised not to disappoint Ghana but stand out as a shining light for Ghana and Africa.
The UN Youth Ghana is a civil society organization that models the UN agenda with its main mandate being pursuing UNSC Resolution 2250, a global call which encourages the youth to be part of the decision-making process.
The group per this encourages young people to engage in dialogue, take charge of their information and communication and get involved by talking and speaking up.
People aged from 15 up to 35 can register to represent their constituencies to express their opinions on matters affecting them.
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