This March, recent graduate Nausheen Khan ’11 joined a group of 100 young people from twenty-six countries for the Youth Multi-Stakeholder meeting at the fourth convergence of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons (HLPEP) in Bali. This meeting sought to address the “Post-2015 Development” agenda, which will be implemented once the current Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations reach their conclusion in 2015.
Hailing from Bangladesh, where 52 percent of its 160 million people are under the age of twenty-five, Khan has an especially good sense of how imperative it is that the voice of youth be heard when setting the Post-2015 Development Agenda. “Worldwide,” she says, “more than half of the population today is under thirty years. I believe that the youth are one of the most important players in the development process as their innovative ideas, enthusiasm, and commitment result in action and outcome.” At the Youth Multi-Stakeholder meeting, delegates engaged in debate and discussion with high-level decision makers, including Ms. Amina Mohammed, special advisor of the secretary general on Post-2015 Development Planning; John Podesta, chair of the Center for American Progress; and Sung-Hwan Kim, minister of foreign affairs and trade for the Republic of Korea. The issues addressed included universal access to quality and relevant education and affordable and quality healthcare, as well as good governance, decent employment, gender equality, and environmental sustainability. “In order to engage the youth effectively, it is essential that global partnerships are formed using a multi-stakeholder approach involving youth, civil society organizations (CSO), academicians, parliamentarians and that youth continue to play an active role in planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating development programs.”
Khan advised young alumnae to use social media to spread the word about the post-2015 development framework. “Knowledge is power; and creating awareness through education is the first step in creating a nation where the youth can practice their rights and achieve their goals. An important area for contribution towards the political, economic, and social emancipation of the youth is by sharing experiences to garner the support of the young alumnae working in the field of development all over the world.” MY World is a United Nations global survey aimed at helping world leaders be informed as the agenda is being set. You can participate at www.myworld2015.org. Furthermore, Khan urges alumnae working in CSOs or government to approach senior policy makers at the national level in order “to motivate policies that reflect key priorities of children and youth, especially those of marginalized groups.” Referencing the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development’s campaign “The Future We Want” Khan says, “It is important that we work together for the Future We Want today.”
Nausheen Khan ’11 was a double major in economics and politics and graduated magna cum laude. Currently, she is working at Khan Foundation, a non-government organization that has been working in the area of democracy, development, and human rights for the past two decades. As focal person of programmes, Nausheen is responsible for implementing and monitoring the various activities at the field level, as well as preparing project materials such as proposals, workplans and reports. Having completed a research internship at the renowned Worldwatch Institute in DC, she also contributes to the organization as a research associate. As a young professional working in the area of development and public service, Nausheen has been a strong advocate for youth empowerment and promotion of human rights.