By Wamuyu Wachira, IBVM, SNDatUN delegate to UNCTAD 14: As a lecturer in Peace and Conflict studies, I have been lecturing on topics such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the deliberations of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, The Hyogo Conference, Japan on Disaster Management, peace and economic development and women, peace and development, and the role of the Civil Society in sustainable peacebuilding. Therefore, when I heard about the UNCTAD 14 conference I was very interested and was very grateful when I was invited and selected as a delegate.
During this meeting I will be interested in discussions on the following issues among others: Economic and political empowerment of women especially in the African continent. Topics such as the perception of women’s role and how to improve women’s bargaining positions, promoting gender equality, affirmative actions especially for girls, and marginalised and women’s access to productive resources will be of interest to me.
The other area of interest is on youth, especially in the African continent. I will be interested in discussions especially in the area of their contribution to socio-economic and political development. Areas of interest will therefore be youth unemployment and underemployment. These issues are of essence to me because if they are not addressed they could suffocate the potential of youth as transforming and agents of change. Hence, through this conference I hope the deliberations made will be actualized and harnessed. I am hopeful that there will be discussions on some of the ways of doing this; for instance, through training, new technology and education.
Care of our common mother earth is also an area of interest for me. I am therefore looking forward to discussions on food security, trade, and the impact of new wars, especially the ‘war on terror’, and which if not addressed could hamper the actualization of the sustainable development goals.