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The participation of 300 youth from across the globe at ECOSOC’s Youth Forum aims to bring the voice of youth into the discussion on how to maximise the engagement of young people in the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With 1.8 billion young people aged 10-24 in the world, young people are central to development efforts. Janet Jackson, UNFPA Representative said: "The world has never had as many young people as it does today. In Myanmar, as in every country, if young people mobilise, they can help change the present as well as the future of their country and ultimately the future of the world". 

Participants at the caucus were encouraged to make recommendations on which of the seventeen SDGs they see as priority issues for Myanmar Youth. Dr Htet Aung Kyauw said: "Without your participation we won’t be able to represent you effectively." Participants broke in to discussion groups to consider issues that they face in relation to education, employment, health, gender equality, and the environment. Participants presented their recommendations in plenary. A question and answer session was facilitated by Dr Ni Ni Khaing, UNFPA, Dr Einda, Central Health Education, Department of Health, Juan Miguel Sanchez Marin, Myanmar Programme Officer, United Nations Volunteers, Jarrod Lovett, Child Protection Specialist (Youth Engagement), UNICEF and Dr Sithu Swe, Youth Development Programme, Myanmar Medical Association. 

Concerns raised and recommendations made by Myanmar youth included that currently the education law does not contain any provision for budget allocation; the education budget is approximately 2% of the GDP. Participants suggested it should be increased to 5% - 10% of the GDP. In response to the incidence of drug and alcohol abuse among youth, which they attributed to peer pressure and family expectations, participants suggested that rehabilitation centres and harm reduction programmes should be established and people treated instead of punished. Participants acknowledged that although Myanmar is a signatory to many international instruments to advance the goal of gender equality, women still face discrimination, particularly in rural and remote areas. Participants said there was a real need for more practical implementation of these instruments. 

Both Myanmar youth delegates are eagerly anticipating their trip to the ECOSOC Youth Forum. Miss Si Si San said: "There will be around 300 youth from around the world at the ECOSOC Youth Forum, so I can discuss with other youth delegates what they are doing in their countries to address the challenges they face". UNFPA awaits the outcomes of the ECOSOC Youth Forum and the recommendations made by youth about the SDGs. It will continue its strategy to engage Myanmar Youth in improving universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.