By Chandra Jayaratne –
Hon. Dullas Allahapperuma,
Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development,
354/2, Elvitigala Mawatha,
The Sustainable Development Debate in the Youth Parliament
What are the National Priorities, Strategies and Expected Milestones in Sustainable Development to meet the needs and aspirations of the Future Generations?
I am sure that you will no doubt agree, with nearly twenty one million people sharing the present national resources of Sri Lanka and looking in to a future of unprecedented global socio-political and economic challenges in ensuring equity, sustainability, peace and harmony, whilst eradicating poverty and bringing prosperity and growth to enliven the future generations, that the sustainable development debate becomes one of prime importance today, in the executive and legislative governance processes.
Activities designed to stimulate debate and discussion regarding the widely divergent positions held by different stakeholders of society, on what constitutes sustainable development for growth and prosperity of the future generations and how it may best be achieved within the constraints of available limited national resources, is an imperative that should not be lost sight of by current leaders in governance.
As the Development Debate actively unfolds globally and in the Sri Lankan Cabinet, Parliament, Provincial Councils, Local Authorities, Policy Makers of the State, Academia, Business, Media and in Civil Society Think Tanks, I am sure that you will certainly endorse the view that, engaging the youth and children (our future generation) to actively participate in the debate concurrently, is an important accountability of the executive, media and elders in society.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development and the Media have important roles to play and a national accountability to be the catalysts in moving forward the Sustainable Development Debate. Here, it is essential that the debate is extended to specifically examine how to meet the needs and aspirations of the present leaders and present generation, without compromising in any way the ability and needs of the future generations to meet their needs.
“All over the world people in politics, enterprises and social movements increasingly realize that we have to come up with new solutions and profound changes of mainstream policies that are credibly linking commitment to measurable steps. Money flow and technologies are important, as are new arrangements for democracy and the management of the commons. Integration of fragmented aspects is key . That is what strategies for sustainable development are about and why they mark new political thinking. The EU Sustainable Development Strategy encourages Member States to adopt national strategies for sustainable development and to establish national multi-stakeholder Councils. Where they exist Councils effectively promote sustainability thinking, stimulate informed debate, and, through their advice, qualify national SD strategies” notes the foreword titled ‘Catching a Glimpse of the Future’ in the paper ‘Stimulating informed debate
– Sustainable Development Councils in EU Member States. A compilation of tasks, capacities, and best practice’http://www.stakeholderforum.org/fileadmin/files/Sustainability_Councils_stimulating_informed_debate_01.pdf”
I therefore earnestly appeal to you to arrange for the next session of the Sri Lanka Youth Parliament, to comprehensively and actively debate the topic “What are the National Priorities, Strategies and Expected Milestones in Sustainable Development, to meet the needs and aspirations of the Future Generations?
By a copy of this letter I appeal to the Editors of Media Institutions to devote their resources and journalists in pursuing actively a similar debate to take place involving different stakeholders of society.
I feel that the outcomes from such a debate will significantly enrich the President, the Cabinet, the Legislatures and the Policy Makers in their endeavors in planning and executing development initiatives in Sri Lanka, in order to deliver to the nation and its future generations the sustainable future of growth and prosperity they will aspire for.
16th June 2013
cc. H.E. the President and Hon Minister of Finance & Planing,
Hon Minister of Education,
Hon. Minister of Higher Education,
Secretary Ministry of Finance & Planning,
Governor, Central Bank
Additional Secretary Youth Development,
Director General, National Youth Services Council,
Secretary General, Sri Lanka Youth Parliament,
Speaker, Sri Lanka Youth Parliament,
Leader of the House, Sri Lanka Youth Parliament,
Leader of the Opposition, Sri Lanka Youth Parliament,
Editors, Media Institutions