Bangladesh, June 11 -- Although the youths were considered an important part of implementation and accountability in Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, the consolidation of global experiences in terms of localising youth participation has been sparse.

The SDGs assume that the youths will play a crucial role in the Voluntary National Review (VNR) and other related accountability processes.

Also, a third of the 17 SDGs exclusively refer to the youths. Even indicators that do not directly refer to the youths have serious implications for them.

Also read: SDGs: 'Youth voice missing in policy process'

Instead of only focusing on skills for employability, youth-based skills training programmes deployed by both government and non-state actors should also include training on data collection through modern ICT solutions, relevant to the protection of youth's well-being and rights.

These observations emerged at the online dialogue "Youth, SDG Accountability & the Voluntary Local Review: Situating Bangladesh's Experience within the Global Context."

The event was jointly organised by the Citizen's Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh and ActionAid Bangladesh Thursday.

Also read: D-8 Youth Summit: Dhaka for achieving SDGs engaging youth

Najeeba Mohammed Altaf, Programme Associate at Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said: "Despite the clear importance shown to youth within the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, this importance was not reflected in the extent of youth participation documented in either the 2017 or 2020 VNR published by Bangladesh."

"Also, many of the perfunctory 'consultation' meetings mentioned in the 2020 VNR were not conducted due to the pandemic," Najeeba said.

"Data, information and protecting civic space in the post-pandemic period needs to be focused on when the state may take a much more authoritarian approach in the upcoming days. In the absence of a robust global governance structure, this is not only an issue for the nation but also global in many ways," said Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, convenor of Citizen's Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh.