One third of the Bangladesh’s population comprise young people. National development policies have clearly indicated skill building, employment generation, and meaningful participation of youths which is accelerating their local level engagement process. To support them receive basic services equitably, empowering young people is key. SERAC-Bangladesh with the support from UN Democracy Fund and UN-Habitat is initiating urban youth councils at four city corporations of the country, namely Rajshahi, Rangpur, Mymensingh, and Narayanganj, four cities under the Advancing Engagement by Setting Up Urban Youth Councils in Bangladesh project. An orientation meeting jointly is held in Narayanganj City Corporation on Sunday to introduce the project and starting up of the interim task force team under the initiative.
This joint meeting was moderated by SERAC-Bangladesh’s Executive Director SM Shaikat, Honorable Mayor Dr. Selina Hayat Ivy, of Narayanganj City Corporation was present as the chief guest. among others guest present Md. Salim Miah, Assistant Director (Program) of SERAC-Bangladesh, Md. Moinul Islam, Urban Planner of NCC, Councilor, ward-16 Md. Riyad Hasan, Councilor, ward no-08 Md. Ruhul Amin, Shawon Onkon (Councilor, Reserved seats – 22,23,24), Sania Akhter (Councilor, reserved seats – 25,26,26) of NCC.
In this meeting, NCC’s honorable mayor Dr.Salina Hayat Ivy said that the active participation of the youth is very important for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals and the development plans of the Government of Bangladesh. She pledged the full support of the City Corporation in the formation of this urban youth council and wished success in the implementation of the project.
S M Shaikat the Executive Director of 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 own representatives to take their issues to the city corporation and formal spaces. The city youth council will also advise the mayor regarding meaningful youth presence in planning, implementation and monitoring of development activities in the city. Which will support the government achieve SDGs 11, and 16 at local level.
They also stated some of the key activities under this project will include, youth council guideline preparation, formation of the urban youth council, voter list preparation, and electing 20 youth councilors from the registered youth voters of the age of 18-35 in the city. The proposed urban youth council will connect with the Bangladesh Urban Youth Councils Network, and the World Urban Youth Councils Network and build partnership to improve capacity of the local youths.
On behalf of Narayanganj City Corporation, all the officials present on the occasion applauded the project and assured all possible cooperation. Also present on the meeting were SERAC-Bangladesh’s Md. Nahidur Rahman, Associate Program Officer, Sumaiya Akhter Mili, Program Associate, Shahadat Hossain Shahin, Program Associate and NCC taskforce members