28th October, 2020
The UN 75th Anniversary celebrations_organized by the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in collaboration with the Youth Coalition for SDGS were Graced by H.E Bintou Keita the Ass UN General Secretary for Africa and The Right Honorable Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda Ndugu the Prime Minister of Uganda hosted by the Office of the President.
(From left) Her Excellency: Bintou Keita the Ass. UN General Secretary for Africa, Her Excellency: Rosa Malango the UN Resident Cordinator in Uganda and The Right Honorable Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda Ndugu the Prime Minister of Uganda Graced the celebrations.
Uganda joined United Nations months after her independence in 1962. 75 years later on, there has been a number of great achievements to mark upon this multi-lateral collaboration. A body_that was created as a medium to stem the consequences of the 2 unpopular World Wars that led to the most unpleasant economic depression the world will ever face, the UN system was still the most reliable, integrated and inclusive system that would foresee the attainment of the “African Dream.”
Majority of us might be quite familiar with the “PIASCY” Presidential Initiative on AIDS Strategy for Communication to the Youth Program, better yet beneficiaries. Well, alongside other achievements which included analysing the socio-economic progress, supporting skills development, supporting refugees by providing food, shelter, water and health care and now supporting governments in addressing COVID-19 at country borders by providing the necessary PPEs, the UN system in Uganda under the leadership of Her Excellency: Rosa Malango, the Resident coordinator, still positioned herself as the biggest ally African Youth had in addressing underlying issues in development which centred on the 17 Global Goals of development.
The unprecedented Global Health challenges (COVID-19) had with no doubt land-marked the need for a revolution, commented Her Excellency Bintou Keita, the Ass, UN General Secretary for Africa during her preliminary speech on the #UN75Ug. Evidently, she was right on point because more than ever, we had marked the most traumatising moments for Adolescent Girls and Young Women Living with HIV which had affected their productivity in work places and in their communities. Ms. Keita went ahead to recognise the shared humanity and how much inspiration on creativity and innovation it would cause. “SDGs is an inspiring blue print,” she quoted. It also happened to be 20th anniversary of the 1325 UN Security Council Resolutions on the Women, Peace, and Security agenda in Africa. It stated that “women were not only victims of peace and insecurity but they were also actors of Peace” She added.
It was noted that globally, over 650 Million girls had been married before the age of 18 and this was 40% of girls in Sub-Saharan Africa. 2020, a year meant to awaken the Generation Equality Global Movement a tagline to the 1995 Beijing Platform commitments which were fundamentally built on achieving Gender Equality through Technology and Financial inclusion, was almost unsuccessful, with exception from virtual Youth engagements i.e. the Regional Youth Barazas supported by the office African Union Youth envoy in collaboration with the Youth Beijing Platform technical committee and the Feminist Movement, all we hoped for was a successful Road-map to the Mexico convention in March 2021.
Positive thinking, communication and partnerships. For so many centuries, Africa was seen as a dark continent, very vulnerable, ignorant, poor, hungry, and dirty and all sorts of negative reviews. However, not any more, there is so much beauty to expose, the flora and Fauna, the innocence (the beautiful and magical ignorance) circling the adolescents, is all we could appreciate and utilise sparelessly as we put up formal structures to mobilise, organise but most importantly bond such a strong movement of likely minded young people.
The NDPIII was 90% aligned with SDGs as it reflected the need to improve sustainable industrialisation for improved development. It also highlighted the UG Cooperation framework which mainly encompassed the review of economic policies, promoted Gender Equality and inclusion.
All this shared above led to a common public narrative and evidence based increased Gender Based Violence cases, the power imbalances and how it had affected progress in Youth and social Movement building processes.
The 2 days celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the UN were concluded with recommendations, fundamentally derived from the fact that the most significant interventions in her story were made by Young People. And with that background laid, it was just right that we had a global career guidance day where we all had an opportunity to meet our role models, interact and learn from. Personal bonding at that moment became so crucial. It created safe space for interaction and expression. Indulging in Peace and security interventions: Conflict resolution, an indigenous African intervention to maintain peace and harmony was still very relevant. Aspiration 6 of the first ten-year implementation plan of Agenda 2063 stated that Africa’s development was people driven especially relying on the potential offered by its Youth and Women; it’s at that moment that we had to appreciate the accord in achieving Gender Equality and women empowerment regardless of race and ethnicity.
2020 marked the beginning of the Decade for acceleration of the achievements SDGs, and therefore aligning these targets with the Uganda Vision 2040 and the 7 Aspirations of Agenda 2063 of the African Union widened the scope in mobilization and promoting the spirit of PanAfricanism . It also provided a stronger foundation for Youth initiatives like the One Million Youth SDGs Solutions a platform that recognised, show-cased and supported sustainable Youth community solutions.
Meet the winners of the One Million Youth SDGs Solutions Challenge: Janet Masika, the C.E.O Mush Wonders a company of four that grows and processes Mushrooms for food and extensive consumption plus GodsWil Ivan a local Bee keeper.