Young people advocate with MPs on their agenda for change

Sustainable development is, by definition, a development that can be carried on by future generations.

On November 20th, 2020, young people in Tanzania commemorated World Children’s Day with over 300 newly elected Members of Parliament and presented to them their Agenda for change, urging them to prioritize key issues in education, health, WASH and child protection sectors so as to improve children welfare in the country.

The young advocates Abdullatif Hassan (16), Agape Joster (13), Rose Mweleka (24) and Mariam Mbaga (26) presented key recommendations from the Children and Young people Agenda that was developed in consultation with more than 34,000 children in 2019 as part of the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC@30). Over 5 million children were reached with messages on the CRC and their rights as part of the preparatory activities for the Agenda that was launched by the former presented of Tanzania, H.E. Ali Hassan Mwinyi.

On the occasion of World Children’s Day, UNICEF Champions and Members of Parliament celebrated this iconic moment at the Parliament and made a commitment to upholding the rights of children as well as fulfilling the rights of every child.

The event under the theme; Reimagine a Better World for Every Child,’ was held in Dodoma and was graced by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Job Ndugai, and Deputy Speaker Hon. Dr. Tulia Ackson, who both made powerful commitments to children paving the way for future strategic dialogue. “We have heard you. As MPs, we understand that we have a big responsibility to ensure we debate issues that affects our children and push the government to take positive action to address them. We commit to use the agenda that you have presented to us and we will use it as our refence as we push for key issues that you have recommended,” said hon. Ndugai.

In his remarks, the UN Resident coordinator, Zlatan Milisic, insisted that in order to achieve all the Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030, children must be put at the centre of the agenda. “Sustainable development is, by definition, a development that can be carried on by future generations. So making the right choices for children is critical to the SDG agenda.”

On her side, UNICEF Representative, Shalini Bahuguna, said SDGs will only be achieved if we all work together and recommit ourselves to the principles and implementation of the CRC. “As parliamentarians, you have an important role in helping meet the SDGs. You can set strong policy directions and debate, and shape laws that protect children and monitor their implementation in your constituencies. You can also speak on behalf of children once you understand issues that affect their wellbeing and set in motion debate and action through policy, legislation and effective financial investment for the benefit of children,” she added.

UN entities involved in this initiative
UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund