New declaration calls for youth platform at regional governmental meetings
New York, 22 September 2004—In a declaration adopted in Hiroshima, Japan this week, 100 Asia and Pacific youth challenge the region’s premiere international organizations to heed their recommendations for tackling poverty, hunger and disease.
The declaration centres around the Millennium Development Goals, eight global benchmarks to be achieved by 2015.
We, the future leaders of Asia, pledge to turn our words into action for the betterment of our continent and to this end call upon the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Pacific Island Forum States and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to give us a chance to present our vision for 2015 to them and ask for their guidance and support in enabling the nations and peoples of Asia and the pacific to achieve the Goals by 2015," they assert in the declaration.
They also highlight their concern that, while some countries in Asia and the Pacific have made significant strides towards the Goals, the region has the highest number of people living in poverty, with close to 700 million of the world’s 1.2 billion poor people.
The delegates, who signed on as Millennium Campaign Youth Advocates, promised to do everything possible to encourage their communities to reduce poverty and committed to establishing a permanent network of young leaders in their region to shape their common agenda
Young leaders represent our hope for the future, and have the greatest potential to push for realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for 2015, established by the United Nations", said the Prime Minister of Thailand His Excellency Thaksin Shinawatra in a message to the Summit.
Sachin Pilot, member of the Indian National Parliament stated, "I take back from this Summit a renewal sense of commitment to work towards meeting the MDGs. It will be my endeavour as a young parliamentrian to push forward the agendas of the MDGs in my party and the government".
The adoption of the declaration capped off three days of deliberations about the Goals and how young people in Asia and the Pacific can help achieve them.
UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia & the Pacific offered concrete steps for follow up: taking the Hiroshima Youth Declaration to the leaders of ASEAN, Pacific Island Forum and SAARC. In addition, it was mentioned that youth could, in cooperation with UNDP national offices, present specific proposals for possible support through ongoing UNDP MDG initiatives and that youth delegates from Hiroshima could present the declaration at regional MDG events, beginning with a workshop in Siem Reap, Cambodia in October 2004.
The Summit, which kicked off Asia Pacific 2015, a campaign aimed at generating support for the Goals from China to Iran to Thailand, is the second in a series of regional youth conferences. The Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit was held in Dakar, Senegal in June and a gathering of youth in Latin America and Caribbean is planned for early 2005 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
For more information, please contact:
In New York, Trygve Olfarnes, tel: (1-212) 906-6606; in Tokyo: Akiko Fujii, tel: (81-35) 4674751; in Bangkok: Cherie Hart, tel: (662) 288-2133; To learn more about the Pan-Asian Youth Leadership Summit, please visit: http://www.asiapacific2015.org/brochure/
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