Sustainable Development Goals Alert in Malaysia at Penang Paddy Festival

In many cultures in Asia, paddy milled into rice is the energy-giving, life-sustaining source of food for the majority. Food security has become one of the government fundamental agendas and it is essential for the overall development. Furthermore, the government has emphasized that food security is synonymous with rice security. Many paddy fields have even made way for the more lucrative use of the land – the building of residential housing and shops.

The goal of the Penang Paddy festival is to raise awareness to the hardships of paddy farmers, especially among the younger generation. At the same time, it is also to bring attention to the rapid urbanization of Seberang Perai, where many tracts of agriculture lands are being converted.

On 6 August 2018 Penang State Legislative Assembly, YB Dr. Norlela, State Assembly Person for Penanti, Penang, Malaysia raise the issues of conversion paddy land to housing and commercial purposes. She is aware of the 102.18 hectares of paddy land that been converted. She hopes to save the remaining 396 hectares paddy field in Kampung Terus and Guar Jering. She promotes this awareness by Penang International Paddy Festival programme. ASEAN My World 2030 Advocate, Nadhilah Razak said on this coming August 12 we are planning to celebrate the International Youth Day by collaborate with Penang International Paddy Festival which will happened on the 11th & 12th August 2018 at Kampung Terus, Permatang Pauh, Malaysia. YB Dr. Norlela and YB Nurul Izzah will be the main organizer for this programme as they will become one of the Malaysia My World Stories for this UN SDG Action Campaign.

#PadikuWarisanku #SDG #MyWorld2030 #Malaysia #act4sdg #SDG1 #SDG8 #SDG12

 

 

Innovative Private Sector collaboration brings valuable citizen insights on SDG targets from Sri Lanka, Lebanon and Romania

3-country study illustrates how perceptions data can complement official national data sources and build a fuller picture of people’s daily experiences across SDG targets areas

One-third of people in Sri Lanka know about the SDGs. Evidence suggests that awareness is growing around the world but there is still a very long way to go. In Lebanon 24% of people have heard of the SDGs, but in some countries, such as Romania, awareness of the SDGs is a mere 8% of the population. Across all three countries younger people are more likely to know about the SDGs than older people.

These are among the findings of a 2018 MY World representative study which asked residents in the 3 countries about the SDGs and levels of public services in their daily lives. The study worked with local research agencies in Romania, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka to carry out 1,000 face-to-face surveys in each country. Respondents were systematically sampled and statistically weighted to be representative of the national population in each country with respect to sex, region, and urbanity. The 24 questions, drawn from the MY World question library, were intended to inform discussions at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, around its key 2018 theme of Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies and the 3 countries were selected from the list of countries presenting Voluntary National Reviews this year.

The study aimed to link discussions around SDG delivery with the public perceptions of access to key services and to identify some of the pressing issues in the different countries. For instance, more than 40% of Lebanese people always or often have problems accessing both electricity and clean drinking water whereas this is much rarer in both Romania and Sri Lanka. But of the three countries Lebanon reported the highest levels of improvements in cleanliness of playgrounds in the past year. 

Romanians are more likely than Sri Lankans to have a recycling facility close to their home (45% compared to 34%), but Sri Lankans were far more likely to use the service. Seventy percent of Sri Lankans reported that they had recycled the last bottle they had used and 71% also believed the bottle was recycled – compared to 44% and 51% in Romania.

With respect to public transit, Sri Lanka had the lowest availability of service among the three countries. But interestingly, this was not perceived as problem, with 80% of people saying they are quite satisfied of very satisfied with this level of service.

Several of these finding help to demonstrate the value of capturing and comparing public perceptions of services beyond merely referencing the service delivery indicators from official statistics. We see that the demand for and satisfaction with services may seem to contrast with the actual level of service delivery. 

Jordan Robinson, Director for the Development Practice, Kantar Public, presents the study results at an event during the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York.

The study is part of a longer-term collaboration between the UN SDG Action Campaign and Paragon Partnerships to deepen analytical capacity across the 17 SDGs and of citizen perceptions of progress toward the SDGs. The study demonstrates the tremendous potential for private research firms to contribute valuable citizen perception insights into the heart of the SDG reporting processes. Governments and the UN can access timely data on SDG targets at national level and track progress on the 17 SDGs over time.

See the presentation and watch the side event (1hr12mins – 1hr18mins) at the High Level Political Forum where this study was presented by Jordan Robinson, Director for the Development Practice, Kantar Public as a member of Paragon Partnerships.

A representative MY World study in Romania, Lebanon and Sri Lanka sheds light on SDGs on water, sanitation and public infrastructure

This study was generously conducted and supported by:

 

Young Southeast Asians Unite in Singapore to Create Solutions to the SDGs

Designed to empower Southeast Asian youth to tackle regional sustainability issues, Young Sustainable Impact Southeast Asia (YSI SEA)’s 14 week-long Innovation Programme 2018 came to an end on 30 July 2018. The programme brought forward 24 participants from across 8 Southeast Asian countries to kickstart solutions for select United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) faced in their local communities.

 

YSI SEA team, YSI Global team and participants of the Innovation Programme 2018 at University Town, National University of Singapore

After a three-round selection process with 800 applicants, the Innovation Programme 2018 nurtured the 24 most promising participants to build 6 social impact startup teams focusing on the UN SDGs. The Innovation Programme 2018 consisted of two main components: the Online Innovation Programme and the Singapore Innovation Programme. The Online Innovation Programme was conducted on various virtual collaboration platforms. Over three months, participant teams were guided by expert mentors and YSI SEA’s curated course modules, from problem identification to developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for market validation.

YSI SEA then flew its participants down to Singapore on 19 July 2018 for the Singapore Innovation Programme. Over the next ten days, teams were able to accelerate their innovation process in each other’s physical presence. Five courses were conducted to prepare teams for pitching day and beyond. The participants also attended a workshop on the UN SDGs, the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the platforms available to them to take actions for the UN SDGs.   

Pitching took place during the Singapore Sustainability Conference on 29 July 2018, to an invited group of angel and corporate investors, venture capitalists, accelerators and rotary members at the CDL Singapore Sustainability Academy.

The participants of the Singapore Innovation Week 2018 with Danat Tekie, Chief External Relations Officer, YSI Global during the Cultural Night

Leveraging on their diverse geographical and technical backgrounds, all six teams displayed their creative prowess in fashioning innovative solutions to the SDGS in the ASEAN region.

While Agrireach created the Reach Cube to tackle poor irrigation and drainage systems in agricultural fields in Philippines’, Allyasia developed an e-commerce platform to empower indigenous communities in Southeast Asia by reimagining their cultural heritage and to provide them with sustainable livelihoods. Gatewaste pitched a mobile application to optimise the recycling system in in Jakarta, by mobilising and empowering scavengers.

When asked about her thoughts on the Innovation Programme 2018, Sophia Enage, a participant of the Innovation Programme 2018 and co-founder of Mushroomable, said, “YSI SEA opened so many opportunities for learning and sharing wisdom as well as actualizing passions in life. In this whirlpool of experiences, learning and realizations, I want and will create sustainable and positive waves that the world will enjoy just like how YSI SEA made it possible for me.” Her startup idea aims to empower farmers to manage agricultural waste effectively, by utilizing rice by-products to grow mushrooms.

Sophia Enage, a participant of the Innovation Programme 2018 and co-founder of Mushroomable, pitching her idea during the Singapore Sustainable Conference 2018

The use of technology was apparent in the ideas generated by all the startups. With the goal of empowering healthcare providers in Philippines, Nutri-Alliance proposed an application that educates and supports healthcare providers, through access to digital information, education, and communication materials for healthcare and nutrition. Even Kembalikash, with the mission of educating Indonesian migrant workers f and their families in financial literacy, is working with industry leaders to provide an online payment and financial management platform.

Innovation Programme 2018 was a huge success, and the longevity of participants’ startup ideas for sustainable development will be seen to. These are made possible by a YSI SEA team which has worked tireless behind the scenes. “The whole YSI SEA team holds the SDGs closely to their hearts and their actions. We believe in the fundamental concept of leaving no one behind (and that includes mother nature) and the SDGs embody this concept perfectly”, said Sai Surya, the Managing Director of YSI SEA. “YSI SEA aims to empower these youth regardless of socio-economic backgrounds to solve the sustainable issues they are passionate about with a measurable impact. By creating impact-driven startups and impact-driven young leaders, we hope to push the SDGs and society forward,” he added.

YSI SEA team, YSI Global team and participants of the Innovation Programme 2018 at CDL Singapore Sustainability Academy

YSI SEA is one of the regional chapters of Young Sustainable Impact (YSI Global). YSI Global was started in Oslo, Norway by a group of youths passionate about bringing young people around the world together to tackle sustainability problems. They saw a lack of startups in the field of sustainable development aimed at alleviating bigger world problems, and decided to bridge the gap between idea generation and impact, as well as engage youth in sustainability and entrepreneurship.

When asked why YSI Global chose Singapore and Southeast Asia to work in the field of sustainable development, Marcus Bruns, Co-founder and CEO of YSI Global commented, “When YSI Global expanded to new regions, we based our decision on the people who applied to start locally. Not only were we lucky to have a great team in Singapore, we also have a youth population of 213 million in the ASEAN region, which makes it a great arena for sustainable innovation and community engagement.”

In addition to the Singapore Sustainability Conference, YSI SEA also organized the Singapore Sustainability Showcase on the same day. Graced by the Guest of Honour, Minister of Social and Family Development and Second Minister of National Development Desmond Lee, the showcase brought different NGOs, social entrepreneurs and corporations together to share on various sustainability initiatives and innovation in Singapore and the region. 

Minister Desmond Lee, the Minister of Social and Family Development and 2nd Minister of National Development in Singapore and Sai Surya, Managing Director of YSI SEA during the Singapore Sustainability Showcase

Ultimately when you talk about sustainability, it is how do we endear into each and every one of us that we are nothing more than mere custodians and stewards – that we take what we need today to meet the needs of ourselves, our families, our communities and our societies,” said the minister when delivering the opening address.

The 400 registered attendees of the Showcase were given electronic goodie bags. Among others, the goodie bags featured the ASEAN MY World Survey, which made it convenient for the attendees to take the Survey both during and after the Showcase. 

Since its inception in 2017, YSI SEA has received widespread support from organizations such as the Prime Minister’s Office Singapore, Temasek Foundation Ecosperity, World Vision Singapore and National Youth Council of Singapore. YSI Global has the network of 14,000 entrepreneurs and innovators worldwide united with the common goal of reaching the UN SDGs. By bringing together the energy of the youth around the world and by connecting them to private, national and global stakeholders, YSI Global and YSI SEA could create an ecosystem to solve some of the most crucial issues of the 21st century.

The Power Of Youth in Indonesia to Challenge Harmful Narratives

 

Angga Dwi Martha – “Now the world is currently undergoing drastic changes in climate change, social and economic inequality, to politic and humanity crisis. Youths are usually faced with situations in which they do not have a safe space to move, to talk and to explore their potentials. With social  media and other online communication platforms, youths have figured out a new way to include and innovate themselves to create a virtual and physical space for their own growth. Currently, creative art spaces like; music, poetry and digital media have significant roles on creating these spaces.”

Jakarta 11 August 2018 – 2030 Youth Force Indonesia held a Talk show and workshop in commemorating International Youth Day 2018 (IYD 2018). The event that was held in Google Office Indonesia was specifically for youths aged 15 till 30 who were interested in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and have the knowledgeable skills in the arts and literacy. The event that took the theme Safe Spaces For YouthFreedom Of Expression: The Power Of Youth To Challenge Harmful Narratives” consists of 2 (two) session of activities which are Talk show and Workshop. We also introduced the programs that aimed to raise awareness on the attainment of SDGs, for instance ASEAN My World 2030, SDGs Plogging and SDGs Song.

The Talk show session invited the representatives from Google Indonesia, Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN) Indonesia, Ministry of National Development (Bappenas) and UNDP as the speakers. This session discussed about the roles of art and literacy in combating harmful narratives. Creative counter-narratives will play a significant role in tackling the above mentioned problems. Counter-narratives are a message that offers a positive alternative to extremist propaganda or aim to deconstruct or delegitimize extremist narrative, this could involve focusing on what youth are interested in, by offering positives stories about shared values, open mindedness, and diversity

65 total number of participants that had been selected were divided into 3 (three) group of Workshop class according to their own interests of arts. The Workshop class consisted of Poetry class, Digital Creative class and Performing Art class that mentored by the experts. The Poetry class was mentored by Bentara Bumi as the initiator of Malam Puisi, the Digital Creative class was mentored by Cameo Project (Creator for Changes from Indonesia) and Performing Art class was mentored by Jakarta Performing Art Community (JPAC). During 2 hours, the participants got insights from the facilitator about how to transform dialogue peace into art and literacy.

What makes the Workshop class interesting and different is the project behind it, the participants are expected to make an output from the workshop that they choose. on 19 August, the participants will be performed in front of the audice to share their creativity and art on peace. the following activity include peace and charity performance.

After participating in the Talk show and Workshop, all the participants are expected to bring changes to the community, especially to fellow youths to combat harmful narratives such as violent extremism, hate speech, bullying online and black campaign. From there onwards, safe spaces will be made to maximize the potentials of youth so that they can contribute more to the community.

 

 

 

Promoting ASEAN My World and SDGs on RRI

ASEAN My World Advocate from Indonesia, Nur Hayyu Supriatin and her team The Youth Changemakers Sorong (TYCS) in West Papua Promoted SDGs and ASEAN My World survey promote ASEAN My World survey and SDGs on Indonesian Broadcasting System or RRI (Radio Republik Indonesia) Sorong. The Youth Changemakers Sorong is the network of young people from various communities in West Papua who care about change and be ready to take action.

ASEAN My World Advocate from Indonesia and her team Broadcasting on RRI (Radio Republik Indonesia) during the youth Afternoon programme, Friday, 10/08/2018.
Talk about ASEAN My World and SDGs

The Announcer of Pro 2 RRI  Sorong, Mrs Noni also excited. She just known that MDGs is done and now we are in SDGs era. We then talk about ASEAN My World survey, where we already took the survey, how to collect, and what is the impact of the survey to the people in West Papua. The respond is going well, the citizen especially the youth were interesting and asking how to join in the team and being a volunteer.

The announcer of Pro 2 RRI Sorong, Mrs Noni with ASEAN My World advocate and the team

After our promoting on Pro 2 RRI, the manager from RRI Sorong invited the advocate to come as a speaker as the prestigious program event at RRI namely Sorong Raya Aspiration with the theme The Role of SDGs in Development on 15th of August RRI. In this program the advocate talk about ASEAN My World Survey, her mandate, and SDGs . Quite a number of callers asked about SDGs because what the knew was MDGs. They than asked the government and atakeholders to help the advocate conduct a survey to find out the needs of the society. It is also live on RRI Youtube channel http/youtu.be/KdMQZAUmap8

After Broadcasting on Pro 1 RRI the Manager of RRI Sorong asked to meet and willing to provide the hall of building for hand over events on 25 September.

Broadcasting on Pro 1 RRI Sorong, Wed 15/08/2018

Besides promoting on RRI we also shared our movement in daily newspaper Radar Sorong. Well, this is just the beginning. We will promote our Act for SDGs for all the people through media both printing and electronic.

Canon Launches 2018 Young People Programme at UN’s Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development

London, UK – 22 March 2018 – Canon Europe, leader in imaging solutions, is officially launching this year’s Young People Programme for 2018 at this year’s Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development with the help of two of its student storytellers and the UN SDG Action Campaign.

Participants from the programme have appeared alongside Stuart Poore, EMEA Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs, Canon Europe, and Photojournalist and Canon ambassador Ulla Lohmann, on UN Web TV to share plans for the year ahead with Mitchell Toomey, Global Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign (Sustainable Development Goals).

Now in its fourth year, Canon’s Young People Programme seeks to contribute towards the achievement of the SDGs by giving young people a voice through harnessing the power of positive visual storytelling to drive change. The programme uses the SDGs as a framework to give young people the opportunity to talk about the global issues that affect their futures and by providing the right tools and coaching, it aims to bring participants’ stories to life. Canon Europe has been delivering visual storytelling workshops for young people since 2015, and to date, 14 countries across Europe have run events, reaching more than 3,000 students.

“The Young People Programme is a good example of how Canon Europe is seeking to make meaningful social investments across the EMEA region, demonstrating our commitment to our corporate philosophy of Kyosei: living and working together for the common good,” says Stuart Poore, EMEA Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs, Canon Europe.

“The Global Festival of Action is a great opportunity to give young people a voice about the need for positive change. We at Canon are incredibly proud to support the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development, and are very excited to celebrate the inspiring work of our own Young People Programme student storytellers during the event.”

The Canon´s commitment with the SDGs through the Young People Program is a perfect example there are many organisations, companies and people truly engaged in creating real solutions to bring the SDGs forward. We cannot do this alone, we need the young people and we need to hear their voices, and include them in the action needed to achieve the Goals. I feel inspired by the amazing visual stories created by the Young People and look forward to finding what we will create together in the next chapters of this program. ” said Mitchell Toomey, Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign.

The UN SDG Action Campaign is a special initiative of the UN-Secretary General, administered by the UNDP to create awareness about the 2030 Agenda, empower and inspire people across the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while generating political will, and help make the Goals attainable by 2030.

From the 21st to the 23rd March, the UN SDG Action Campaign hosts the Global Festival of Action,  bringing together business leaders, activists, UN representatives, academics, government, global organisations and media from across the globe. This year Canon joins them and is supporting the event in several ways including hosting “how to” sessions, using Canon technology to print exhibition photography, promotional photo books, floor graphics, and banners;

The Power of the Visual Voice
Canon Ambassador, Ulla Lohmann held a ‘how to’ session, showing attendees all the ways they can use storytelling portraits to add strength to their SDG successes, get them heard, inspire others and drive continued support for their work. She’ll share how to build a story, make a personal connection with a subject and share the results with the wider world.

Humans of MY World
Canon’s exceptional printing technology brings a powerful exhibition of photography to life that shines a light on the real human stories behind the SDGs. Photography from the Young People Programme will sit alongside that of the UN SDG Action Campaign.

Further information about Canon Europe’s Young People Programme is available at:
https://youtu.be/tx-aj-SAGpQ

MY World 360° – Empowering the next generation of SDG journalists through virtual reality

BONN, GERMANY (March 22, 2018) – At the Global Festival of Action, the United Nations SDG Action Campaign, Digital Promise Global, and Oculus announced a new partnership and the launch of the MY World 360° project. (View video of the announcement here.)

The partnership reflects a shared commitment to the idea that immersive technologies like virtual reality hold potential for experiential storytelling that spurs learning and action. MY World 360° invites young people worldwide to develop digital skills and create 360° media as a way to share their perspectives and advance positive action toward the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

MY World 360° ultimately aims to increase participation through a new expressive and immersive medium by young people and marginalized groups, and promote awareness and understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Engaging young people through a powerful learning experience to help them build new digital skills for a purpose, the program is open to global submissions, with additional activity planned in Germany, India, and the United States.

“The Sustainable Development Goals are an open call for all people to join together to create a more sustainable and equitable world,” said Mitchell Toomey, Director of the United Nations SDG Action Campaign. “MY World 360° will empower young people with the language to describe challenges, the skills to document the SDGs in a local context and the knowledge to influence and make change. This will equip young people with the tools to have an open dialogue with decision-makers in their communities, hopefully inspiring the collaborative action needed to achieve the goals.”

PILOT COUNTRIES

Oculus, Digital Promise Global, and the UN SDG Action Campaign also announced today that MY World 360° will launch national pilot programs in Germany and India. A limited number of German and Indian schools and youth organizations will receive 360° video production equipment from Oculus, as well as targeted support from local media mentors.

In Germany, implementing partners for the national pilot include schools and youth organizations affiliated with the UNESCO Associated Schools Network and UNICEF. The implementing partner for the national pilot in India will be UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace.

PROGRAM ORIGIN

Since 2016, Oculus, the virtual reality company, has partnered with Digital Promise Global, a non-profit organization working to spur innovation in education, through the 360 Filmmakers Challenge. Bringing virtual reality production tools to classrooms and youth organizations across the United States, the program has engaged more than two thousand students and over 20 awarded youth-produced films.

From 2012 through 2015, the UN SDG Action Campaign coordinated the MY World 2015, the UN Global survey that ensured 9.7 million people’s sustainable development priorities were included in the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The MY World 2030 project will continue to shine a light on people’s personal experiences around the world, ensuring they have a platform to have their say. MY World 360° will join a suite of storytelling projects which include the Humans of MY World, as well as immersive films promoted through UNVR.

The MY World campaign, the success of UNVR, and the youth-produced media from the 360 Filmmakers Challenge caused Oculus, Digital Promise Global, and the UN SDG Action Campaign to develop the idea for a global campaign for youth-produced 360° media for SDG awareness and action.

“Giving people the resources they need to highlight the issues they care about has been a goal of our partnership with Digital Promise Global, and we’re thrilled to be working with the UN SDG Action Campaign this year,” said Parisa Zagat, Head of Oculus Policy Programs. “By expanding this work internationally through this new initiative we hope to encourage even more young people to think about how technology can help them raise awareness for causes they believe in.”

“We are excited to partner with Oculus and the UN SDG Action Campaign to help young people around the world develop their digital skills,” said Karen Cator, President and CEO of Digital Promise Global. “By using emerging technology, more learners can bring their ideas and experiences to life in new and powerful ways.”

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

MY World 360° offers tools and resources to help participants learn about the SDGs, and to develop the skills needed to capture, edit, and share 360° media to represent their perspectives and their communities in an immersive and compelling way. Youth participants from around the world are eligible to contribute immersive media, including photography and film, to the open call for submissions to MY World 360°. Further details about tools, methods, and submission guidelines are available on the MY World 360° program page.

 

Youth as Partners to Achieve the SDGs during UNECE Regional Forum

Given the high interest among Member States to include youth and citizens voices in their SDG implementation strategies, the UN SDG Action Campaign, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and the Regional UN Issue Based Coalition on Adolescents and Youth joined hands to organise a side-event during the UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development on the 1st to 2nd of March.

The program opened with a word of welcome by Jayathma Wickramanayake (UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth) who among others emphasised the crucial role young people have to play in implementing and reviewing the 2030 Agenda:

“I have one thing to say to all the young people in the room. We are the SDG
generation and we are critical in implementing and reviewing the Agenda. Demand to have a seat at the table, don’t wait for an invitation. Act now, speak up and believe in your power to change the world.”

Moreover, the event provided a platform for young advocates who have led their own SDG monitoring and accountability processes inside and outside of formal Government structures. Digital innovations offer new possibilities and a powerful example was shared by Richard Herts, Ukrainian U-Reporter, who on a weekly basis engages and consults over 15.000 young Ukrainians via text messages on issues such as water and sanitation, healthcare and democratic freedoms.


During the panel discussion government representatives shared the processes they have used to meaningfully engage young people in the SDGs, and within their Voluntary National Review (VNR) process. A powerful example was shared by Franc Matjaž Zupančič (Slovenian State Secretary) and Sabina Carl (Slovenian UN Youth Delegate) who drafted a special youth section in Slovenia’s 2017 report to the High-Level Political Forum (HLFP).

The side-event was moderated by the Swedish UN Youth Delegate Henrietta Flodell, who aimed at identifying good practices and developing replicable tools, so as to “move from the why to the how”. She wrapped up emphasising the importance of ensuring that youth involvement is institutionalised and that the consultation and follow-up mechanisms for youth are long-term, transparent and democratic.

We thank all participants and look forward to increased youth engagement in implementation and review processes and in specific at the High-Level Political Forum taking place in July 2018.

Youth Leaders Engage with UN SDG Action Campaign during ECOSOC Youth Forum

The 2018 ECOSOC Youth Forum took place on 30 – 31 January 2018 at the UN HQ in New York City. The Youth Forum brought together hundreds of young leaders, ministers, civil society organisations and UN agencies to discuss the role of youth in building sustainable and resilient urban and rural communities.

The Forum presented the UN SDG Action Campaign with the opportunity to bring the SDGs to the forefront of the discussions, to re-connect with some of our longstanding partners, as well as to inspire young leaders to #Act4SDGs and to foster new partnerships.

Highlights

Campaign workshop for Youth Leaders from Northern Africa & Arab States:

A workshop was organized to inform and train twenty young change-makers from the UNDP Youth Leadership Program on SDG Action campaigning. Stories from the Humans of MY World Campaign (now in Nigeria!) were shared, MY World 2030 was introduced as both a data collection and advocacy tool, and a brainstorm took place about possible activities to be carried out during the Global Day of Action.


Youth Leaders from Northern Africa and Arab States explain how to #Act4SDGs during the ECOSOC Youth Forum. #Youth2030

Side-event on the importance of mainstreaming the SDGs in Education:

Organized by UN Youth Delegates and hosted at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations, a discussion took place on how to better integrate the SDGs in our education systems. Rosario Gravito shared best practices from the Millennials Movement in Peru, while other campaigns and toolkits such as the World Largest Lesson (Project Everyone), MY World 2030 and MY Campus (UN SDG Action Campaign) were shared.
More information can be found here!

UN Virtual Reality (UNVR) experience during DPI NGO Youth Representatives Event

During DPI’s youth event Virtual Reality Screening was used to transport viewers into real life crisis situations in both urban and rural areas.  The concept has proven it’s impact, and also this time around youth leaders were both touched and inspired by the immersive storytelling portfolio of UNVR.

Important: Youth Leaders, Civil Society organisations, and others, can still register for the Global Festival of Action on Sustainable Development taking place in Bonn on 21-23 March. Register here!

All questions related to our youth engagement portfolio may be directed to jilt.vanschayik@sdgactioncampaign.org

Mitchell Toomey: “Youth power can lead the way towards the SDGs and the ambitions of countries all over the world”

Source: African Newspage/January 10, 2018

Mitchell Toomey is the global director of the United Nations SDG Action Campaign, a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General administered by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), mandated to support the UN system-wide and the Member States on advocacy and public engagement in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

How important are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to Africa, in terms of achieving sustainable development in the region?

I think the Sustainable Development Goals are everyone’s responsibility and Africa deserves to achieve the SDGs just like other regions deserve to do so; we had the MDGs and countries like Nigeria were an incredible success in rallying people around some specific goals.

Moreover, the SDGs represent a much more ambitious agenda; they are not just about people’s survival but actually about ensuring people thrive. So, Nigeria is an obvious leader in Africa and with such a large youth population and potential we want to make sure the SDGs work here so that Nigeria can lead other countries in Africa.

We are already 2 years into the implementation of the SDGs, how has Africa fared in terms of achieving the goals?

Well, I think every country is different, every country has their own development plans and one thing we have learnt is that you can’t just bring something new and expect everyone to enforce it immediately; already there is the Africa Agenda 2063, which is a very important agenda that came before the SDGs. So, we have to be humble enough to understand that people already have their own plans.

Two years on, we are very happy to see how governments have taken them very seriously; they have set up departments and commissions to make sure there is some accountability in the implementation of the SDGs. Many countries have come to New York to talk about their action plans and what they want to do. However, two years on we can say the goals are still in their very early days.

The next few years will really determine how much progress we will see in terms of implementation of the goals. So, in 2019 the heads of state of all countries will gather again in New York to review the progress we have achieved in 4 years – it will be an incredibly important period. Therefore, we are confident that by then many countries would have achieved some of the progress necessary for the success of the goals.

Two key sectors of the world’s population i.e women and youth are very vital to the success of global development frameworks like the SDGs. How do you think given women and youth the opportunity to key into the implementation of the Global Goals will aid the successful realization of the goals?

Well, one reason the youth are such a focus of the goals is that the youth themselves helped designed the goals; when we were deciding what the goals would be we challenged young people from around the world to help us decide what the goals would be and they responded in amazing ways: by telling us what was happening in their communities and hence what the goals should be.

As such, most of the goals are youth-centered which means the youth can relate to them; we make sure that the icons are very friendly and easy to understand so that even children can understand these goals.

The reason is we are in a period of tremendous change in the world and young people are the future; the ability to access information, find networks of people, and learn new things using digital tools are what matters. It is a much different world than it used to be and young people are the ones who understand it best so we need to follow their lead in making these goals a reality.

And women have always played a very critical role in society even though sometimes such a role is marginalized outside of the traditional economies but we believe by giving everyone in the society the opportunity to participate we will achieve explosive growth which will lead to development in all countries.

Agenda 2030 is a very ambitious development framework that hopes to change the face of the world particularly here in Africa, around gender, education, governance, and public health. Where do you hope to see Africa by the year 2030 in terms of achieving these goals?

It is hard to generalize for Africa as different countries are at different starting points; different countries are progressing in different ways. We have to be very honest that different countries will progress in different ways.

Imagine how much the world has changed in the last 15 years, imagine all the things we never dreamed we could do like standing here and having this conversation with you and getting it out on the internet for everyone to see, we just would not even have thought it would be possible. So, I think if anything the goals aren’t ambitious enough to match the ambitions of young people around the world.

This article is culled from African Newspage – a digital newspaper for development reporting. View the original piece on their website.