The Economic and Social Youth Forum also known as the ECOSOC Youth Forum took place last week at the United Nations’ Headquarters in New York, USA. The two day event had representation from Belize via the Minister of Youth, Elodio Aragon and Youth Ambassador, Eric Sanchez. The event featured discussion on how young people can contribute and play an active role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. Sanchez spoke to Love News on his experience at the forum on February 1 and 2.
“We need to realize that Belize is a very small country with a very small population and as a country with a small population we need to be able to reach out to these larger communities that have the wealth of experience that we may benefit from and we as the young people, we need to understand that we need to try to gain the experiences that these other countries have and this is where the forum comes into perspective. It teaches us how to gain experience and how to learn from what other countries have done in the past. More importantly it gives us the opportunity to network properly with different agencies, different youth focused groups that will push us further.”
Sanchez says his participation in the forum was a privilege and there are aspects that he will lobby for in Belize.
“One of the things that really stayed with me from this forum is what one of the speakers said. She mentioned that youth work should not be focused in the department of youth service, she said that youth work should be within all the different ministries. That the Ministry of Finance should have a strong youth presence and the Ministry of Works should have a strong youth presence. That was one thing that really stuck with me and I would hope that we as a country would implement more youth friendly environments within the governmental sectors and in the non-governmental sectors. Additionally we were also focusing on the passing of a bill that would allow us as youth to have a decade of decent jobs. So we are now moving toward Eco jobs and more employment and more opportunities to have entrepreneurship; that being, we as the United Nations and ultimately Belize because Belize has signed on to it already.”
This forum was a platform for youth to engage in dialogue with Member States and contribute to policy formulation on global economic, social and environmental issues.