Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh will be focusing on forwarding the youth agendas to the political parties and urge to reflect the demands of the youth in the manifestos to be prepared for the upcoming national election of Bangladesh. These demands of the youth, including those of marginalised group were articulated in a Youth Declaration adopted at the Youth Conference held last month. With around one-third of the voters being youth, the demands to ensure inclusion of their agenda in the manifesto are logical. In view of that, the Platform and its Partners are planning to meet the election manifesto preparation teams of the political parties as a follow-up activity of the Conference.

Findings and experiences from the Conference titled, Youth Conference 2018: Bangladesh and Agenda 2030 – Aspirations of the Youth, were shared at a Post-Conference media briefing at CIRDAP Auditorium on 5 November 2018.

The young people of today will be playing the leading role in 2030, the year of completion of the SDG implementation timeline. In order for them to effectively play that role – (i) they need to be allowed to exercise their independent voting rights in the coming election (ii) challenges they are facing today need to be addressed by including those in the election manifestos (iii) the youths need to be actively engaged in the process of making policies that concern them, and (iv) enabling political, social and economic environment is important for them to express their innovative ideas as regards national development.

The youths in the Conference particularly stressed the need for quality education and education that is appropriate for employment. They emphasised on special employment scheme for left behind population and ‘youth bank’ to facilitate entrepreneurship.

The Platform core group members, Partners and journalists from the print and electronic media were present at the event.