One-third of Bangladesh’s population comprises young people. National development policies have clearly indicated skill building, employment generation, and meaningful participation of youths, accelerating their local level engagement process. To support them receive basic services equitably, empowering young people is key. SERAC-Bangladesh with the support from UNDEF and UN-Habitat is initiating urban youth councils at four city corporations of the country, namely Rajshahi, Rangpur, Mymensingh, and Narayanganj under the Advancing Engagement by Setting Up Urban Youth Councils in Bangladesh project.
According to the following activities on 28th August 2022, four City Corporations (Mymensingh, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Narayanganj) and SERAC-Bangladesh organized a national online workshop on Urban Youth Council guidelines.
Assistant Director (Program) of SERAC-Bangladesh Md. Salim Miah moderated the meeting. Chief Executive Officer of Rangpur City Corporation Md. Ruhul Amin Mia, Chief Executive Officer of Mymensingh City Corporation Md. Yusuf Ali, Chief Executive Officer of Rajshahi City Corporation A.B.M. Sharif Uddin were present as a special guest and Executive Director of SERAC-Bangladesh SM Shaikat was present in the meeting as chair. Also present among other guests were councilors of four city corporations and journalists.
In this workshop, the chief executive officers of four city corporations (Narayanganj, Mymensingh, Rangpur, and Rajshahi), councilors and non-governmental development officers, and 200 task force members gave their various opinions on the finalization of urban youth council guidelines. It is noted that the urban youth council guidelines were previously finalized based on the opinion of the task force members in the guideline workshops under the four City Corporations and the public and private development officers in the guideline consultative meetings and urban youth council guidelines were presented and guideline handed over to four city corporation’s honorable mayor.
The host organization, SERAC-Bangladesh mentioned, that this project will enhance the capacity of civic engagement among the youths of this city, and engage them with a participatory democratic and electoral process, where they will nominate and elect their representatives to take their issues to the city corporation and formal spaces and the next four years, they (the task force members) are given instructions on how they will function and what responsibilities they will have, and how they will work with city mayors. The combination of all these will create and formulate the policy in question in collaboration with the task force. The city youth council will also advise the mayor regarding meaningful youth presence in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of development activities in the city. Which will support the government achieve SDGs 11, and 16 at the local level.
SERAC-Bangladesh Program Officer Nahidur Rahman, Program Associate Md. Shahadat Hossain Shahin, Rangpur Divisional Coordinator Tithi Majumder, Rajshahi Divisional Coordinator Mahmudul Hasan Shishir, SERAC-Bangladesh Narayanganj City Representative Nabi Newaz Sakib, and four cities task force members were also present.