By Kenneth Alfaro and Geisel Sánchez, Red de Jóvenes por el Agua Centroamérica
28 May, 2019 in
April 2019 was the month of increased youth participation for Central America Youth for Water Network (Red de Jóvenes por el Agua Centroamérica) at national, regional and global events. With the support of SWA, we participated as youth representatives in the recently concluded 2019 Sector Ministers’ Meeting (SMM) in San José, Costa Rica. The Central America Youth for Water Network is a regional platform, wherein we promote youth involvement in the Integrated Water Resource Management and are committed to promoting the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Our participation at the SMM provided us with a unique perspective on the dynamics of high-level Ministerial Dialogues and how such sessions could promote cross-country learnings for breaking barriers for access to water and sanitation. We as youth representatives, actively attended these ministerial dialogues to understand the challenges and opportunities in this sector. The meeting left us with some learnings: a) setting common goals and strengthening collaboration among sector partners would accelerate progress in the sector, b) Youth must be seen as actors with the capacity to sit at the discussion table, and express concerns and propose solutions, c) all mechanisms for participation or accountability must be validated in the multi-sectoral process before being applied, and must include the "right to reply" or evaluation.
During the same time, we launched a Virtual Consultation aimed at young people between 15 and 35 years old, called "Young People acting for Sanitation to leave No one Behind", where 189 young people from over 20 countries (such as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, among others) participated. Here are some recommendations for the Governments that came out of the consultative process:
We believe youth could make a real contribution to achieving the SDG6 goals, and as a result, would like to commit the following: