Student leaders to discuss youth's role in achieving MDGs

April 26, 2010 8:14 pm 

MANILA, April 26 — There are more Filipino girls in school than boys and it might seem that the Philippines has made a big achievement in gender equality, but according to the United Nations Millennium Campaign, it is a sign that universal primary education has yet to be achieved.

"Parents see the education of their children as investments, and the girls are seen to have more chances of finishing school so they can become domestic helpers and caregivers and bring the coveted OFW dollars," Dulce Saret, the UN Millennium Campaign's national advocacy expert on the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), said.

"The boys are also left at home to help in the chores and earn," she added.

Issues like these and the Philippines efforts towards achieving the MDGs will be discussed by local and foreign students leaders in the 1st Asia-Pacific University Student Leaders' Conference on April 28 to 30 at the Makati Palace Hotel.

Conference chairwoman Mariecor Salas-Ding said the event will allow student leaders to share their ideas about how the youth could contribute to achieving the MDGs by 2015.

Saret, who will speak on the roles of the youth in achieving the MDGs, said the UN plans to tap the youth and their fondness of texting in monitoring how the government's money allotted for the MDGs are spent.

"It's not enough to just lobby for more money for the MDGs because we know that even if the government gives more money, most of it wouldn't reach the poor who really need it," she said.

Other speakers during the conference include UN Development Program (UNDP) country director Renaud Meyer, European Union Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, Japanese embassy minister for economic affairs Tomochika Uyama, and Christopher Wright of the British embassy.

At the end of the conference, the delegates will draft an action plan called the Manila Declaration 2010 to be submitted to the next president.

The Manila Business College Foundation Inc. will host the event, and the sponsors include the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, United Nations Youth Association of the Philippines, the City of Makati, National Commission on Culture and the Arts, Philippine Tourism Authority, Rotary International Club 3830 of San Nicolas Makati, Inner Wheel Club of Muntinlupa Filinvest, Manila Grand Opera Hotel, Manila Ocean Park, Toyota Manila Bay, Emerson Hardware, John Robert Powers, Business Mirror, and UNTV37. (PNA)



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