Pacific youth teams ready to make their voices heard

15 May 2012

(Suva, Fiji) - Four Pacific youth teams from three faculties of the University of the South Pacific are ready to debate what the development agenda should look like for the region once the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) come to an end in 2015.

The debates which form part of inclusive Pacific consultations facilitated by United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) around Pacific Perspectives on the Post 2015 Development Agenda have been organized in partnership with the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Pacific Youth Council. They will be held on May 16, from 5pm, at the Japan-Pacific ICT Complex at USP’s the Laucala campus and will be shared with a wider public through a webcast.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of USP Professor Susan Kelly will deliver the opening remarks. Renowned researcher and MDGs advocate, Dr Jan Vandermoortele, Independent Researcher and Lecturer will speak through a skype link-up. Polikalepo Kefu from the Tonga National Youth Congress, representing Pacific Youth Council, will provide a youth perspective to set the scene. Dr Ajay Chhibber, UN Assistant Secretary General, UNDP Regional Director will deliver a video greeting before the two debates start.

The debate teams are made up of students from the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment, Faculty of Business and Economics and from Faculty of Arts, Law and Education. They will debate two motions: 1) MDGs succeeded in creating international consensus and focusing global efforts on concrete and measurable developmental goals; and 2) In light of the global efforts to achieve MDGs targets over the last decade, there is a need to formulate a post-2015 agenda on development that will mobilize action for positive change.

The MDGs are a set of eight goals agreed to by word leaders in 2000 that aim to free humanity from extreme poverty, diseases and illiteracy.  While there have been varying degrees of achievement of the MDGs across the globe and in the Pacific, it is broadly acknowledged that MDGs were powerful in galvanizing international development efforts.  

The region’s youths have already started discussing the post 2015 development agenda on the Facebook page Pacific Perspectives on the Post 2015 Development Agenda.