The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Jayathma Wickramanayake born in Sri Lanka in 1990 as his next Envoy on Youth! She will succeed Ahmad Alhendawi of Jordan in this role expected to expand the UN’s youth engagement and advocacy efforts across all four pillars of work – sustainable development, human rights, peace and security and humanitarian action.
WGNRR wants to congratulate Jayathma and we look forward to a strong and continued collaboration. In particular we ask that in your role as Envoy on Youth, you support and advance all commitments so that young people’s voices are heard in regards to their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
It is imperative that you stand strong to resist any attempted rollbacks on young people’s health, and ensure that young women and adolescent girls’ health and rights remain a priority. It is also of vital priority that you work towards the ensuring and expansion of the provision of comprehensive sexuality education and youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services, including safe and legal abortion and post-abortion care, that are accessible, affordable, confidential, and high-quality, free of marital and parental consent requirements.
We must ask you to keep in mind that youth advocates have emphasized the critical importance of recognizing young people’s SRHR, both in terms of realizing other human rights, and their cross-cutting centrality in achieving social justice, women’s and girls’ empowerment, and sustainable development. This includes respecting, protecting, and fulfilling the human rights of all young people. As such, we urge you as incoming Envoy on Youth to fully support, pursue, and defend a comprehensive approach to young people’s health, accounting for the full spectrum of youth’s sexual and reproductive health issues, needs, and rights. We thank you and stand ready to work with you in this regard.