What Is the Relevance of CPD to the Lives of Young People?
David Lawrence, Guest Contributor
As part of our series on the Commission on Population and Development (CPD), we've teamed up with YSafe to bring you accounts from youth advocates taking part in the convening. This is the second blog from David Lawrence, who came to New York from Liverpool, UK.
As the negotiations continue at the United Nations, the work toward establishing a strong outcome document that ensures young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights becomes even more intense. While a lot of the language and priorities of the outcome document are decided within the negotiating room, there are many other meetings and side events going on throughout each day. These meetings are attended by delegates from civil society organizations, as well as delegates from different countries that use these events to help inform their stance during the discussions.
This afternoon I attended "Education Matters: Empowering Young People to Make Healthier Choices," a side event hosted by IPPF that was held at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations. A variety of speakers talked about their experience of working in the field of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE). A comprehensive curriculum ensures that young people are provided with information related not just to sex, but also to relationships (both intimate and not). It includes more broad life skills that enable young people to exercise their evolving capacity as they transition into adulthood. This information is always age-appropriate, and the level of detail and the intensity of discussion will evolve as young people develop.
Given that these discussions are taking place in fancy buildings in New York City, the policies and declarations at the UN can sometimes seem isolated from the real world. But when I reflect on all of the information I'm learning at the CPD, I see that it’s useful to the situation back at home. In the United Kingdom, there is constant discussion about what CSE should and should not include, as well as who should be the recipient of such education. Robust, evidence-based CSE is essential to ensure young people receive information that is pertinent to their lives.