The young researchers, along with other members of the Global Youth Coalition on AIDS, participated in a Breakfast by young people on June 2. The breakfast was hosted by all UNAIDS co-sponsors as a side event to the High-level meetings on HIV/AIDS to review the implementation of the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. At the breakfast, young people presented their report Our Voice, Our Future - Young People report on progress made on the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS to country delegates and representatives from UN agencies, and were able to engage in discussions about the findings and recommendations. Young people were able to highlight their peers' needs in regards to HIV prevention, and draw attention to the successes and challenges in achieving the targets set out in the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. For more information, please see UNFPA News.
Global Youth Partners Training and Advocacy Planning Workshop were conducted in Bangladesh and Nepal in May 2005. The goals of this training were to develop a concrete advocacy plan with defined next steps for the GYP teams in the two countries, to understand the basic principles of advocacy and to develop skills related to effective advocacy and message development. The GYP teams identified their advocacy theme and are in the process of developing an action plan, with specific objectives and time bound activities in partnership with the respective UNFPA Country Office.
The launch on November 24th in Santo Domingo was attended by representatives from youth organizations, NGOs, the media, Government officials, such as the Executive Director of the Presidential Commission on AIDS (COPRESIDA), congressmen/women, UN representatives and ambassadors. The event was covered by the media and featured in several TV and radio shows, drawing attention to the HIV situation among youth in the Dominican Republic. As part of the advocacy initiative in the Dominican Republic, workshops have been conducted for capacity building of the youth personnel of 9 youth departments. The purpose of these workshops is to identify the specific needs of the youth in each municipality. The findings were presented at the launch of the Dominican Republic GYP campaign. For pictures of the event, please go to the Photo Gallery.
Since the launch of GYP in the Dominican Republic, the team has been able to increase the publicity and profile of the initiative, as well as improve the coordination within the team and with the UNFPA Country Office.
The GYP team continue to work closely with COPRESIDA in planning and coordinating capacity-building workshops. GYPs have also organised a workshop for youth from 3 municipalities in the province of La Vega to promote further coordinatoin and communication between the GYP Initiative with these youth and to develop an action plan on several advocacy activities. These activities will directly involve youth in the respective municipalities and the youth departments. In addition, the team will be facilitating consultations on youth and HIV/AIDS. During these consultations, young people will be highlighting young people's needs regarding their sexual and reproductive health, including HIV prevention, to representatives of municipalities, the youth ministry and youth departments.
To ensure that the voices and concerns of young people are included in the monitoring process of the UNGASS DoC, young people from 12 countries around the world reported on the progress made towards achieving the UNGASS targets related to young people in their countries. Country assessments were synthesized into a single report Our Voice, Our Future - Young People report on progress made on the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS by young people at UNFPA Headquarters, and revised by adult allies. The youth researchers and writers involved in these reports are members of the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS and the Global Youth Partners Initiative.
The report recommends that governments focus on young people in their national AIDS strategies, step up funding for youth-oriented programmes, especially those that are led by youth, and work in full partnership with them in policymaking. It urges governments to expand availability of comprehensive, youth-friendly information and services, including life-skills-based education; voluntary and confidential counselling and testing; and condoms. In the report, young people recognize their own responsibility in fighting the spread of the pandemic. The authors are driving grassroots initiatives in their own countries and are expanding the network of young people committed to working in partnership with governments and civil society to reduce the vulnerability and risk behaviours of our peers. Young people ask to be heard and to be involved.
For young people's findings and recommendations on the implementation progress, please consult the full report.
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