The Centre for Peace Advocacy and Sustainable Development (CEPASD) has urged the United Nations to ensure it includes youth in the design and implementation of its programs on transforming food system stating that is no success in transforming food system without meaningful participation of young people.
CEPASD’s Executive Director; Mr. Igweshi Augustine, who while delivering the opening remarks at the CEPASD Global event, organized to commemorate the 2021 International Youth Day (IYD) elaborated on the theme of IYD 2021; ‘Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health’, which according to him, aims at providing a platform for young people to continue the momentum from the EYF in the lead up to the high-level Food Systems.
Acknowledging the need for inclusive support mechanisms which ensures that the youths continue to amplify efforts collectively and individually to restore the planet and protect life, while integrating biodiversity in the transformation of food systems, Mr. Igweshi opined that the enormous contributions and commitment for the realization of United Nations agenda 2030 and the continual push and demand for transforming food system to ensure food security and sustainable development in world by the youths can never be overemphasized.
“This year (and the previous year) has been a very challenging year and young people around the world have been leading the fight at containing and curbing covid-19 as well as the demand for a better society. Many young people are risking their lives while leading the fight against the covid-19 virus which caused a pandemic that disrupted the normal way of life and negatively impacted on the wellbeing of the youth”.
Considering the challenges facing the youths, Mr. Igweshi noted that there is no better time than now to seek the engagement of relevant stakeholders at all levels to contribute their quota in youth social development wherein young people make up a greater percentage of the world population. However, he frowned that youths do not have a reasonable representation in government or platforms where they can contribute to policy making and the overall development of Africa.
“The fact that government and UN cannot continue to say they want to solve the problems and yet continually exclude the main people who make up the greater percentage affected by those problems, should be a concern and issue to look into. We, the youths want better job opportunities, a good education, access to affordable quality health care, responsive and accountable governments, and increased efforts to tackle corruption
“This year’s theme remains our commitment in bring our innovation in transforming food system and our planetary health. I urge the UN and government at levels to make the youths critical part of their programs design and implementation that will transform food system because the youths have the innovation that will transform food system as well as human and planetary health”, Mr. Igweshi concluded.