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29.08.2005 General News

MDGs would be a mirage, without


...youth's participation Accra, Aug. 29, GNA - Participants at a roundtable on Monday observed that the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) would be a mirage if the youth were not actively involved.

They said the active participation of the youth, which constituted the majority of the population, would help to ensure that the MDGs were achieved and these would in turn ensure growth and prosperity. The participants made this observation at the roundtable organised by the Millennium Development Goal Youth Network (NMDGsYN), a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) working on MDGs related projects, for stakeholders on the theme: "The Role of the Youth in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals."

The MDGs adopted in September 2000 during the Millennium Summit attended by 189 UN members, including Ghana, are a concise set of crosscutting, time-bound, mutually reinforcing eight specific goals to be attained by 2015.

The goals include the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and empowering women and the reduction of child mortality. It also aims at improving maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a goal partnership for development.

Professor Dauda Toumane, UNDP Resident Director, whose statement was read on his behalf, said the youth, who were the future of the nation, must take up the challenge to make it better than they met it. "If our forebears did not fulfil the dream of having a country free from poverty, ignorance and disease it is now time for the youth to take up the mantle to prove to the world that they are a force and a generation that will leave no stone unturned. They will fight to reduce and, if possible, eradicate poverty and diseases in their part of the world."

He urged the youth to engage in MGD advocacy and education activities in order to raise awareness, make contributions that would take policy formulators and implementers to task to ensure that the MDGs were attained.

Ms Carlota Agyeman Bannerman, Coordinator of MDGsYN, said the attainment of the MDGs by 2015 was crucial to the youth as it served as a roadmap towards Ghana's development priority. She said young people had great ideas, energy, and enthusiasm to lead and contribute to policy development and implementation, particularly if it affected their lives.