Students at the Regent University College of Science and Technology in Accra, have urged the United National to seriously consider addressing the issue of disparities in gender-related issues, in their attempt to set goals for the next 15 years.
They said although it was laudable to promote gender equality for women, it was important to ensure men were also not left behind in this attempt.
The students also raised some concerns about the absence of any goals focusing on addressing the ebola epidemic, since it had become a global problem.
They made the call at a youth forum held by the Copenhagen Consensus Centre (CCC), in collaboration with the Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF) at the College.
With the Millennium Development Goals deadline gradually drawing to a close in December 2015, there is a lot of engagement on the Post-2015 High Level Panel Report of the UN Secretary-General.
The forum was one of many being held across the world by the centre, to gather information on what the youth considered to be their priority areas for the Post-2015 agenda.
Another concern that the students raised was that they had not been given the opportunity to come with their own proposals for the goals, but had been limited to selecting priority areas from the list of 18 proposed goals.
In Ghana, Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF) , a youth development-focused CSO, in collaboration with the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, will hold 15 of such youth fora in selected tertiary institutions in Ghana, to allow students share their views on what they expect to be Ghana?s priority areas in the Post-2015 Development Goals.
Participants in these high profile youth fora will be given the task of prioritizing the targets from the Post-2015 process.
With 18 major targets and sub-targets under each of them, participants are required to rate each of these targets as Phenomenal (definitely include), Good (seriously consider), Fair (worth considering), Poor (not worth considering), and Uncertain (benefits unclear).
For each of the targets, there has been a quantified analysis showing the expected benefits for every dollar spent.
This platform will give participants an opportunity to learn about the development goals, as well as how to prioritize competing objectives based on economic analysis.
Outcomes from the youth fora in Ghana will reflect what the youth of Ghana recognize as the needed targets of focus for the country in the Post-2015 era.
Dr. Ebenezer Ashley, Dean of the School of Business and Leadership of the College, said the conference was very appropriate as it was important for youth to be involved in decision-making, not only at the local level, but also at the global level.
He said Africa had the youngest of population in the world with Ghana having about half its population being youth, and thus the need to involve them.
He said to make the next 15 years successful, there was the need for collaboration between the youth and those in leadership positions, with constant dialogue between them.
?It also calls for active participation of youth in leadership positions and governance to bring their strengths and ingenuity to bear. But it comes with a caveat, young ones should listen to advice from their elders, since not doing so will be suicidal,? he stated.
He also noted that although some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which end in December 2015, had been achieved, most of them had not yet been successfully achieved, and countries, especially Ghana, should not rest on their oars in trying to achieve the goals of the MDGs and those that would be agreed on after 2015.
The students were also given the opportunity to record short videos telling the CCC what they thought should be the priority areas for the next 15 years.
According to Mr. Douglas Quartey, Programmes Manager at YBF, the videos would be uploaded to the CCC?s database and two entries from Ghana would be randomly selected to participate in the United Nations Conference that would finalise the goals in September 2015.
All the participating students would also receive certificates of participation from the Copenhagen Consensus Centre.