Despite all the country's effort towards achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), there are many loopholes and bottlenecks in the actions and progress towards achieving the goals in stipulated time. There is a clear need to influence the United Nations in taking proactive action with national governments for achievement of the SDGs.
The Girls Advocacy Alliance (GAA) programme is envisioned to create a safe and conducive environment to girls and young women where their rights are respected and promoted towards achieving their goals and dreams that contributes to the successful achievement of Sustainable Development Goals mainly SDG 4 (quality education), 6 (clean water and sanitation), 8 (decent work and economic growth), and 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions).
The Government of India is preparing to submit its report of its progress on the achievement of SDGs to the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development of the United Nations, as part of the Voluntary National Review (VNR) process by all its member countries.
It’s the responsibility of governments to be accountable to its national constitution including its policies, systems, legislations, welfare schemes, and programmes abide by the international treaties and conventions as agreed. Furthermore, it is the due responsibility of the state to involve and engage the civil society organisations and other systemic stakeholders’ in accessing the progress and preparing their report before submitting.
For India and through the GAA programme, 24 Youth Advocates were consulted to provide their recommendations through online platforms. These Youth Advocates are vibrant in advocacy action and they take this as an opportunity to share their views on equal rights and opportunities to girls and young women. “We hope for sure the process of engaging youth advocates from across India in the VNR process will be institutionalised in future and their voices are heard”, said Rupa, one of the Youth Advocates.
The Youth Advocates engaged in a collaborative action and performed their contribution by providing their perspectives on achieving the SDGs. Terre des Hommes Netherlands in India, in association with Plan International coordinated with the Youth Advocates and guided them with their recommendations.
She continued “I have never engaged in the VNR process. I feel that my participation is required because I am one among many girls who feels that there must be a change in society. I was involved in writing the review report thanks to the opportunity provided by the Girls Advocacy Alliance programme.
These young changemakers are from small and rural pockets of India, and with this opportunity - they were able to contribute to national and international progress.