A youth’s vision of the future – The Bali Declaration: outcome document of the Global Youth Forum

The Global Youth Forum brought together hundreds of youth, civil society and member states, among others (in addition to the 2,400+ virtual youth delegates), to identify and discuss issues and priorities facing today and tomorrow’s generation of young people within the context of population and development. IFMSA was present there with the delegation of 4 people (Joško Miše, LO SCORA, Anna Rasmussen, Marija Delaš and Johanne Iversen).


The overall goal of the Forum was to “produce recommended actions for the outcome report of the [ICPD +20] review and for the post 2015 United Nations development agenda as well as to generate a new consensus on putting youth rights at the heart of development.”

Prior to the event, five priority themes were identified which laid the foundation for discussions throughout the 3-day Forum. The five themes included: Staying healthy, Comprehensive education, Families, youth-rights and well-being, including sexuality, Transition to decent work and Leadership and meaningful participation.

The recommendations contained within the final Bali Declaration provide youth advocates with concrete tools through which they can advance for a progressive rights-based agenda both within the remaining spaces of the ICPD+20 review process and the shaping of the post-2015 development agenda. The Bali Declaration is a powerful document through which we can strongly influence the decision makers to put young people at the center of shaping the future we want. The importance of the Bali Declaration lays also in the fact that it addresses issues that Rio+20 outcome document failed to mention – mentioning reproductive rights in the text and linking SRHR with development issues.

Some highlights from the Final Declaration include:

–          Governments address harmful traditional practices (such as forced circumcision and genital mutilation, early and forced marriage, gender-based violence and violence against women).

–          To produce non-discriminatory, non-judgemental, rights-based, age appropriate, gender-sensitive health education including youth-friendly, evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education that is context specific.

–          Governments must provide, monitor and evaluate universal access to a basic package of youth-friendly health services (including mental healthcare and sexual and reproductive health services) that are high quality, integrated, equitable, comprehensive, affordable, needs and rights based, accessible, acceptable, confidential and free of stigma and discrimination for all young people.

–          As part of this basic package governments must provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services that include safe and legal abortion, maternity care, contraception, HIV and STI prevention, care, treatment and counselling to all young people.

–   Governments and international organizations are urged to undertake political reform to include young people in policy-making and implementation, regardless of socio-economic and cultural background, in line with international human rights standards, and should remove legal, policy and regulatory barriers that hinder the meaningful participation and empowerment of young people to exercise and claim their rights.


Joško Miše

Liaison Officer for Reproductive Health issues including AIDS

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