9.7 Current debates and reforms
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The National Youth Strategy 2017-2022 (Εθνική στρατηγική για τη νεολαία 2017-2022) encourages the adoption of top-level measures by many public bodies that address key topics, such as active participation, non-formal learning, international mobility and youth global issues.
The first three-year Action Plan (A' Σχέδιο Δράσης) of the National Youth Strategy, covering the period 2017 – 2019, is completed and it has been discussed in open consultations with youth as mentioned in chapter 1. The second Action Plan 2020-2022 (Β' Σχέδιο Δράσης) includes all the programmes and actions that the governmental authorities should implement for the next three years in order to achieve the priorities and objectives of the National Youth Strategy. However, the Strategy, and as an extension the Action Plans, are based on the logic of participatory development and the co-formation model, both with the governmental services and with the young people themselves. Therefore, the dialogue between the various stakeholders is an ongoing process during the implementation phase of the Strategy and its evaluation, with the ultimate goal of jointly setting strategic goals and priorities for the new Youth Strategy after 2022.
In 2018, the Ministry of Justice and Public Order submitted to the Council of Ministers a proposal for the adoption of the first National Strategy for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights (Εθνική Στρατηγική και Εθνικό Σχέδιο Δράσης για την Προστασία και Προαγωγή των Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων). The first draft of the Strategy would have been then reviewed by an ad-hoc committee formed by representatives of various ministries. The committee would submit its views so as to form the final draft of the Strategy. The process is still ongoing.
Towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, Cyprus is implementing a project in cooperation with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) aiming towards a whole-of-government approach in implementing a sustainable Development Agenda and at a stronger partnership with all stakeholders. Next steps include among others:
- A broader awareness around the SDGs within the Cypriot society, involvement and commitment of all stakeholders. The Office of the Commissioner for the Citizen (Γραφείο Επιτρόπου του Πολίτη) already launched an online platform for this purpose – www.initiative2030.gov.cy (available only in Greek).
- The training of government employees to contribute to the implementation of the national SDG strategy.
- A pioneering educational program for children with activities for each of the 17 SDGs.
In an attempt to engage various stakeholders in Cyprus towards the achievement of the SDGs, the Directorate General Growth of the Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Commissioner for the Citizen in collaboration with the Unit of Education of the Environment and Sustainable Development (Μονάδα Εκπαίδευσης για το Περιβάλλον και την Αειφόρο Ανάπτυξη) of the Cyprus Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth, organised also the conference “Citizens, Politicians, Policies: The power of cooperation to achieve the 2030 Agenda” (Πολίτες, Πολιτικοί, Πολιτικές: Η δύναμη της συνεργασίας για επίτευξη της Ατζέντας 2030) at the end of 2021.