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The Global Youth Forum Concludes with Excellent Results
Yesterday the Global Youth Forum in Bali, Indonesia ended with a progressive statement recognizing the sexual and reproductive rights of young people, including extensive references to respecting LGBT people and the need for safe and legal abortion. After three days of work, the more than 500 delegates from around the world produced dozens of recommendations on issues of health, education, employment, sexuality, and participation to be reviewed during the process of renewal of the Programme of Action at the International Conference on Population and Development.
Among the recommendations is clear language on key populations such as trans people, indigenous youth, and sex workers, among others. The content on sexual and reproductive rights is broad and can be found in all five themes of the Forum. Despite there being a small group of people who were opposed to speak openly about sexual and reproductive health issues, the overwhelming majority support the inclusion of progressive language.
Dozens of youth participants from Latin America and the Caribbean who work in the field of sexual and reproductive rights had the opportunity to contribute to the discussions. They added perspectives from their respective areas of action, including the prevention of adolescent pregnancy, LGBT youth rights, the rights of young people living with HIV, gender-based violence prevention, and adolescent health.
Hundreds of 'virtual' delegates were able to participate via the online forums and Twitter during the entire event. The most popular recommendations issued through the Internet were also taken into account in the final document, which was drafted by the Forum participants themselves. The Forum also included the participation of representatives of various governments, UN agencies, the private sector, and academia, who were available to provide input into the process at all times.
The final document will be part of the recommendations that UNFPA and the Secretary-General of the United Nations will make to member countries during the process of renewal of the Programme of Action and also in during the development of the post-2015 agenda after the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals.
Ricardo Baruch is a student of Public Health at the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública. He is a passionate activist who has collaborated with many international organizations, including UNFPA, UNAIDS, and Mexfam, IPPF/WHR's Member Association in Mexico.