Policy makers as well as various stakeholders in the promotion of democratic values have been urged to strive for the inclusion and participation of youths, women, minorities and persons livising with disabilities in key-decision making processes in Cameroon.
The call was made by participants an event organised by the Independent Platform of Youths for Democracy and Active Citizenship (PIJEDECA) in partnership United Nations Centre for Human Rights, to celebrate the International Day of Democracy.
Celebrated this year under the theme « participation and inclusion », the event brought together youths and civil society actors as various stakeholders to seek ways of improving on the participation and inclusion of youths and other groups in the decision-making process.
Stakeholders gathered brainstormed on the challenges faced in the inclusion and participation of youths, women, persons living with disabilities andminorities in decision-making in order to meet up with the 16 objective of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Opening the event on Tuesday September 16, the Director of the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa, Louis Marie Bouaka said political inclusion and participation of youths, women and minorities is very eseential in the economic development and social cohesion of every country.
While praising Cameroon for the strides made in advancing democracy, he called for mechanisms to be put in place that will favour the target groups of persons to register for future elections once the register are re-opened.
« …democracy is about people. It is built on inclusion, equal treatment and participation — and it is a fundamental building block for peace, sustainable development and human rights, »the Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres said in his message to celebrate the day
« These values and aspirations cannot be seen as tokens or lip service. They must be real in people’s lives.
On her part, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Systems in Cameroon, Allegria Baiocchi said the event is important because it will strengthen the capacity of the targeted audience given that the nation needs the participation of all ahead of upcoming elections.
Youths must be sensitised in active participation in the decision-making process and I am here for that, Nko’o Samuel, Cameroon’s Junior Parliamentarian at the United Nations said.
« Power belongs to the people so for an inclusive society, everybody must be active at their various levels in other to contribute to nation building, » he added.