Evidence-based Policies key for Youth Development in the Pacific

With the enactment of the Sustainable Development Goals now underway, it is crucial for policy makers and young people from across the Pacific to discuss development issues that affect their lives.

As well as how to better incorporate these issues that will have an impact on youth development in the Pacific. 

In a recent ‘Evidence-based Policies for Youth Development in the Pacific’ training organized by the United Nations, the event gave participants an opportunity to strengthen their ability to formulate, monitor and review policies on youths using various methodologies and indicators.                       

Participants included high level government officials and civil society organisations from Fiji, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tonga and Samoa who discussed how national and global youth policies, plans of action and programmes can be supported by existing youth indicators for monitoring socio-economic development of young people.

Fiji’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Laisenia Bale Tuitubou said in his opening remarks that there continues to exist a need to develop and coordinate partnerships as no single entity can be solely responsible for developing young people.

“Young people in any country, represent the future of that country. They have a vital role to play in the development of the country and this is a duty that they must perform,” said Tuitubou.

He urged participants to take time to identify ways youths can contribute to national development and assist youths in reaching their potential and their country’s potential.

“To ensure the active participation of your people in national development, they need to be supported and encouraged by their Governments, the private sector, the civil society and most importantly their parents, guardians and communities,” said Tuitubou.    

The workshop is particularly important for the Pacific region where youth represents approximately 20% of the total population but are finding it increasingly difficult to secure good educational opportunities or decent work after completing their education. 

With today’s generation of young people being the largest the world has ever known, it is important that within the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, no one is left behind or is excluded from development discourse and practice. 

United Nations Resident Coordinator, Osnat Lubrani shared the importance of ensuring that young women and young men as a key demographic are supported as partners and agents of change.

“Young people’s participation in this workshop is a key step in fostering greater youth participation and engagement in national and regional development processes, but also in ensuring that we respond to their unique challenges in order to improve their quality of life,” said Lubrani. 

“2016 presents us with an opportunity to agree on measures required to reduce poverty, inequalities and exclusion within the Pacific region, in order to advance sustainable human development. With this in mind, I encourage you as youth development practitioners to be bold and pragmatic in your thinking about how the national, sub-regional and regional 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda can be more inclusive, truly participatory and people centered and addresses the needs of one of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations in this region – youth. 

“Working together, I am confident that we can help ensure that the SDGs are a big opportunity for the region’s young people and that they are able to be fully engaged in shaping a more equitable, and sustainable future for us all.”

The three-day workshop, which was attended by 70 participants was held in Nadi from the 13th to the 15th of June, was organized by the UN Programme on Youth within the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat, UN-Habitat, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),United Nations Volunteers (UNV), International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Pacific Youth Council. 


Photo: UNDP Pacific/Facebook