Mainstreaming Sustainable Development into National Development Strategies

In 2012, the selected annual theme of the World Youth Alliance was Sustainable Development. During that year, the certified members of WYA agreed to a Declaration on Sustainable Development and a delegation was sent to Rio de Janero to present the organization’s positions at the International Conference on Sustainable Development. With the aim of following up on WYA’s involvement in setting the sustainable development agenda at the global level, WYA’s Middle East regional director, Mr. Cedric Choukeir, represented the UN official Children and Youth Major Group at the “Capacity Building Workshop on Mainstreaming Sustainable Development into National Development Strategies”.

The workshop was organized by the UN Department on Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) between 9 and 11 October 2013 within the framework of the Rio +20 outcome document “The Future We Want”. The overall goal of the Workshop was to enhance the capacity of key stakeholders, including 22 Government officials, to effectively integrate sustainable development into national development planning and implementation. Towards this end, the workshop assessed progress made, identified existing obstacles and challenges, and led to the exchange of experiences and the sharing of good practices amongst participants.

The accomplishments of the workshop included:

Improved knowledge about the processes, institutions and structures required to put in place initiatives relating to sustainable development;
Improved knowledge of capacity development and technical assistance needed to achieve integrated sustainable development programmes;
Enhanced awareness of integrated approaches for the development and implementation of national development strategies through the development of a community of practice and the establishment of a network of practitioners.

The sole representation of the Children and Youth Major group by a WYA staff member reaffirms the organization’s position as a leading youth organization that is able to effectively influence international policy. WYA’s involvement in the sustainable develop agenda aims at putting the person at the center of development. The flourishing of the human person, characterized by physical, emotional, mental and spiritual growth, must be the starting point and the ultimate goal of all sustainable development efforts.