Since an article I wrote went under a big amount of well deserved editing,
I guess I could post the original idea here 🙂
Our campaign is drawing to an end and with a lot of funny stories to tell, a great experience and many new friends, I can say I’ve done something unique and was given the possibility to discover a part of society not many come into direct contact with, right from the inside.
Decision making, you realize, isn’t so easy as it seems and criticisms sometimes just need to be left out the door and be replaced by a different approach to the same issue.
While what I wrote here are personal reflections that may not make much sense to you, what I will write down below are FACTS about what all ONE Youth Ambassadors have done in the past six months and what we expect to happen next.
The fragility of this particular moment in history is often thought to be a topic of no interest at all to young people, just as many of the political and social issues which are, on the contrary, very urgent and pressing for the global community.
Following the launch of the ONE VOTE 2014 campaign, 130 Youth Ambassadors from across Europe, proved many wrong by joining ONE in the fight determined to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.
This campaign was able to show a clear example of the fact that there are indeed young people, who are socially engaged and passionate, eager to be involved in and to influence the decision making process in a positive way, battling for equality.
Relying on their firm beliefs and on a lot of knowledge acquired also thanks to the backup of the ONE staff, against all odds they were persistent and motivated enough to reach the brilliant objective of persuading half the Members of the European Parliament to sign a pledge, in which the newly elected promised to use their power in the European Union in order to raise attention towards an issue that was not to be overlooked in the European Parliament, International Development Aid.
Although Europe as a whole is the biggest aid donor in the world and it has committed to spending 0.7% of its Gross National Income on development assistance by 2015, at the moment it seems unlikely for this promise to become part of our reality.
The new generations of young people, still, look forward to see a future offering better opportunities and dialogue among countries, and this is exactly the reason why it is in Europe’s new generation of MEPs that ONE’s Youth Ambassadors, who championed their noble cause, have discovered an opportunity to establish a communication with leaders and policy makers, aiming, as a reaction to the campaign, to generate a coordinated response upon the renewal of political will among European representatives, to improve International Development Aid policies.
Having such a big percentage of sign-ups in the EU, highlights the great significance this campaign can lead to in terms of implementation of more efficient measures being enacted in the rapports with Sub Saharan countries, especially in such a delicate moment.
Now that the majority of MEPs has publicly committed to ending extreme poverty by 2030, agreeing to do their part in the next 5 years, building support for the poorest countries, something more is expected from them.
As the Youth Ambassadors have proved, development aid is of fundamental importance to European representatives and to many young people, passionate about politics and who feel there is a concrete possibility of change. It is, therefore, an undeniable fact that the creation of a constructive approach to international development aid investments is one of the tasks the new generation of EU leaders is set to carry out in the next legislature.
Although aid itself is essential and indeed plays a fundamental role in the improvement of the life conditions in poor countries, a radical change will not be able to take place without a legislation focused on making sure transparency policies are adopted for European enterprises operating in developing countries, allowing the money to be followed. In order to truly be mutually beneficial and permit the realization of a process aimed to build a better and more prosperous environment for the world’s poorest populations, generating a positive feedback impact in return, aid investments must be well targeted and planned .
To this regard, many studies commissioned to the most respected authorities in this field, have shown how effective aid investments may be done in strategic fields such as agriculture, healthcare and access to energy but also ensuring that our laws make governments and businesses based in europe and operating in developing countries more transparent and accountable, preventing corruption and money laundering.
The next job is to make sure that signer Members of the European Parliament keep their promises over the next five years by ensuring that EU laws make it easier for the world’s poor to lift themselves out of poverty.