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VNR report: Youth Opinion on SDGs

United Nations Association of Uganda UNAU together with its partners on Wednesday held a youth consultation engagement seeking for their input in the Voluntary National Review VNR Report that aims at assessing the progress of implementation of SDGs in the country. The youth consultation engagement was held at Kyambogo University under the theme: Engaging Uganda youth: catalyzing SDGs implementation.

Richard Baguma Tinkasimiire, the UNAU Secretary General also member of the Global Executive of the World Federation of the United Nations Associations said because youths are one of the most important communities of the world’s population since they constitute the largest numbers which is even more for Uganda since it has the youngest population hence they must be at the core consideration in all the processes of development, implementation and acceleration of the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs and all other development initiatives.

Richard explained that when SDGs are being measured, a national review is carried out to measure the progress or lack of it towards their attainment.

In July this year, Uganda is among the countries that have volunteered to report to the United Nations about its progress towards the attainment of the SDGs.

“Our organisations UNAU is one of the organisations that are involved in the work of reviewing and reporting about Uganda’s steps towards attaining the SDGs and our particular interest is towards the youths. What are their voices, views, positions about the country and where we have reached in the development processes in regard to SDGs

We have gathered youths representatives from different parties of the country and institutions of learning to tell us from their own perspectives and experiences how Uganda performed towards implementing the global development agenda which is aligned to our national development plan the SDGs which will be captured into the VNR report together with the Prime minister and UN and report in New York in July. Said Richard.

Baguma also revealed that the other parts of the reporting from government departments, Civil Societies are done including statistics.

Jemercy Melody a UN Youth Fellow under UNAU said well as a lot has be done by government and other stakeholders but there is still more work to be done in terms of education since very many youths don’t know what the SDGs are hence the notion of leaving no one behind doesn’t apply since people can’t be part of what they don’t know.

individual approach to every project

“There is still room to educate people on what the SDGs are and to be aware that it’s not just a conversation for UN and government but it affects each and every individual and everyone can participate in achieving the SDGs because they cut across from health to business, entrepreneurship, climate, and every sector of life.

We also hope that youths in Uganda will be given a platform not just to talk about these things but also to engage have marks of progress in the coming time. ” Said Melody  

Melody is optimistic that in some areas Uganda shall achieve some of SDGs by 2030 citing out the areas of health, education and gender equality adding that achieving the agenda 2030 should go beyond 2030 to over and over again.

Aminah Nassali, the president for Uganda Youth Coalition for SDGs said they must assess what the youths are doing, their success stories, challenges and how to help them achieve the SDGs since when the youth achieve the nation and world also achieves.

Nassali cited out finances as the major challenge affecting the implementation SDGs thus calling upon Uganda to find innovative ways of funding since the country can’t always only rely on donors

She also urged the stakeholders to avoid implementation in isolation since many of the entities work in isolation before urging youths to educate themselves beyond school in order to have a broader perspective on different issues.

Nakato Rehemah Ssesimba, an official from Open Space Center called for more efforts in empowering the youths to localize and simplify the SDGs especially within their communities.

Nakato said so far in the districts they operate from that’s Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono they have observed that young people have innovatively come up with solutions to address issues around quality health through initiating health camps and doing training for fellow young people to acquire knowledge and skills on how to establish sustainable livelihood and contribute to a reduction in unemployment and issues to do with poverty.

Linda Asaba, The UNAU programs manager,

Linda Asaba, The UNAU programs manager, said through inclusive platforms and collaborative partnerships, youth are not just participating in the VNR consultation but rather leading it.

“Their voices, ideas and passion are shaping policies and the future of development in Uganda” said Linda

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