From April 2 to 11, 2014 three GOJoven Fellows advocated for the inclusion of youth and sexual and reproductive rights in policy and programming at the United Nation’s 47th Commission on Population and Development (CPD47) held at the UN headquarters in New York. Wendy Aguilar represented GOJoven Honduras, Ingrid Galvez represented GOJoven Guatemala, and Nancy Leiva represented GOBelize. Nancy also sat on the official National Delegation of Belize with government and civil society representatives, participating in closed negotiations on behalf of Belize.
These three Alumni were selected and sponsored by IWHC and its partners to attend the Global Caucus, Latino Caucus, and Youth Caucuses, as well as an Advocacy in Practice training prior to CPD47. All three fellows were selected for their prior experience in advocacy, including their participation in the First Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean in Montevideo, Uruguay, in August 2013, giving input into the resolution document. At CPD47 the Fellows advocated for country governments to be accountable in implementing the ICPD Programme of Action and the inclusion of sexual and reproductive rights of adolescents and youth into the final CPD47 outcome document. You can access the outcome resolution titled “Assessment of the Status of Implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development” on our SRH Resources page, here.
Read these three young Central American women leaders’ first-hand accounts below:
“The work is not over yet! As everyone returned back home it is clear that more work at national levels is key to making the final document for Post 2015 progressive and favorable to SRHR [sexual and reproductive health and rights]. I think it is key that GOJoven fellows like myself continue to take part in and follow-up with these conferences because the learning experience is essential and it empowers youth to hold their governments accountable to their actions especially with respect to these documents….As a result of this experience I was able to share information with the CEO of the Human Development Department of Belize about the work of GOBelize and we hope to have a meeting with her to discuss our work.”
“My participation in this event has left me with new knowledge about regional and global advocacy as it relates to meetings where decisions are made that affect the whole world…For GOJoven Honduras it is very important to participate in these local, regional, and global advocacy processes, because we’re conscious of how these decisions positively and negatively affect the way human rights, especially sexual rights and reproductive rights, are exercised.”
“I learned about analysis and advocacy from a local-to-global perspective, about the mechanisms of action of international groups, related outcome documents and international frameworks, and the working relationships between feminist, youth, indigenous, and SOGI [sexual orientation & gender identity]-focused organizations…our realities are different, but our problems are generated by the same causes, including inequality, machismo, homophobia, corruption, and development models that perpetuate these problems on a global level. I felt proud to represent GOJoven Guatemala and share our achievements over all these years, and above all, our vision for the future. Though I feel somewhat discouraged knowing that our voices are silenced and our participation made invisible by the problems we face, I continue to believe, more strongly than ever, in the importance of our work, and that advocacy is profoundly useful in reaching our goals.”