Dear Ministry of Youth & Sports,
My pen bleeds as I fingered this communique.
Liberia as one of the Countries in Sub Sahara Africa strike by extreme poverty and hunger was underrepresented at the just ended 2017 Winter Youth Assembly at the United Nations.
One of the lead reasons can be pointed to the non-refundable registration fee in the amount of United States Dollars US$185-200 per individual delegate.
Deplorably, paying this amount cannot guarantee your participation at the Youth Assembly considering other challenges such as visa issuance and air transport prior to the date of the UN Youth Assembly.
Most of Liberia’s emerging leaders and head of Civil Society Organizations selected for the last Assembly couldn’t make it for the Assembly due to lack of financial support.
And some with visas couldn’t afford transportation to the United States and thereby, compelling our voice to remain in the state of taciturnity on critical global issues affecting our country, Africa and the World with respect to the SDGs under our Global Agenda for Sustainable Development.
After my participation as a delegate and a resident representative at the just ended 2017 Winter Youth Assembly of the United Nations, I received a feedback form by the Assembly team asking of my candid observation and recommendation to better the Assembly in Subsequent events with key interest in inclusive representation in upcoming Youth Assemblies.
In my responses, I made mention that my country Liberia was under represented in terms of numbers, while other Countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Senegal etc. could showcase not less than five (5) delegates per Country representing their respective countries on the SDGs agenda.
In an interview with one of the lead-staffers from Friendship Ambassador Foundation, a 501C-3 US Civil Society based organization responsible to conduct activities on youths at the United Nations; he mentioned that every Country through its youth manifesto and programs must take responsibility to raise fund and facilitate final delegates to attend the UN Youth Assembly and especially civil society organizations in the workings of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This brings me to the conclusion that the Liberia’s Ministry of Youth and Sports being cognizant of its youth manifesto and programs under our local development agenda for transformation with reference to the SDGs must take responsibility to facilitate final delegates to ably participate and represent our Country at the UN Youth Assembly every year particularly, as this year’s August 2017 Summer Youth Assembly is drawing closed.
And not just limited to facilitating but most importantly, to hold accountable individuals and civil society organizations supported by the Ministry to return and impact our local communities on the SDGs from a grass-root perspective for the success of the DSGs by 2030 under our global agenda for sustainable development.
It is an audible fact that Liberia and Africa still remain the face of extreme Poverty, Hunger, Ignorance, diseases, Domestic and gender based violence, Child trafficking, Child / Maternal mortality, the lack of technology and basic educational facilitates and opportunities for youths in our socio- political and economic growth and development, etc.
All of these are amongst the 165 targets of the United Nations upon which the Millennium Development Goals was crafted in 2000 and subsequently became the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs in 2015 making it a Global concept document for Liberia, Africa and the World to achieve by 2030 under the Agenda for sustainable development.
With that being said, nevertheless, Liberia and Africa have the potential to develop and sustain the debate on the SDGs to its achievable conclusion. And we remain the substratum if the world must realize the implementation and success of the SDGs by 2030 under our global agenda for sustainable development.
Therefore, as I conclude the chapter, our full representation as Liberians like other countries in every facet of the UN Youth Assembly on the SDGs matters the most, if Liberia must be a part of this global success story by 2030.
Thank you for your Attention.
Amb. Mohammed Z. Fofana,
886 243 958