Speakers at a dialogue on Friday observed that it is high time for the policymakers to reflect the youth aspirations in the national agenda and implement the election commitments.
Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh in collaboration with Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Nagorik Uddyog and Jaago Foundation organised the dialogue on ‘Electoral Commitments and Youth Agenda’ in Rangpur.
The political parties of Bangladesh pledged various commitments concerning the youth in their manifestoes for the 11th parliamentary elections, said a CPD press release.
These include enhancing capacity of the youth, creating sufficient employment opportunities, formulating a policy for young entrepreneurs and increasing rooms for quality education and research among others.
Convener of the Citizen’s Platform and Distinguished Fellow of CPD Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya delivered the keynote presentation at the dialogue.
Mayor of Rangpur City Corporation Md Mostafizar Rahman attended the dialogue as the chief guest.
Freedom fighter Akbar Hossain, Member of Central Committee of the Sushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan), and Prof Malay Kishore Bhattacherjee, former Professor of Economics at Carmichael College Rangpur, shared their views on youth development initiates in the country.
Chief Executive of Nagorik Uddyog Zakir Hossain delivered the welcome speech at the event chaired by Core Group Member of the Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh, and Distinguished Fellow, CPD Prof Mustafizur Rahman.
The dialogue was attended by youth community from various academic institutions, professionals from non-government and civil society organisations, academia and media among others.
They have shared their observations and comments on various issues related to the youth, SDGs and development process in Bangladesh.
In his presentation, Dr Bhattacharya noted that the youth are the catalytic agent of the development and they have the capacity to identify the challenges faced by society, and contribute towards mitigating such barriers with innovation.
He said the policymakers should act properly to mobilise the youth power towards the sustainable development of the country.
Dr Bhattacharya said Bangladesh is in its journey to realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
As one-third of the population of the country belongs to the youth cohort, it is necessary to engage them with the SDGs implementation process, he said.
Dr Bhattacharya said this will require embedding the aspirations and demand of the youth in the development process.
The voices of the youth should be heard and counted by the policymakers while devising the national development agenda, he said.
The ruling party had several commitments concerning the youth in their election manifesto and it is time to materialise the commitments by incorporating youth aspirations in national policies, added Dr Bhattacharya.