Peoples' Voices from around the world celebrated in SDGs Exhibition in UN Visitors Lobby

Since its launch on the 18th of July, the SDGs: A People-powered Agenda – Leave No One Behind exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters has drawn excited crowds of visitors and high-level delegations from around the world.

IMG_20160808_115212.jpgH.E. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, visits the SDGs exhibition 

During the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), H.E. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and co-chair of the United Nations Secretary-General’s SDG Advocacy Group, was one of the first to visit the exhibition together with the Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations, Ambassador Geir O. Pedersen. Both expressed their commitment to making the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality for all on the exhibitions large size blackboard. H.E. Erna Solberg wrote that she will continue to advocate for “Quality Education for All”, while H.E. Geir O. Pedersen committed to “Take Action against Inequality”.

IMG_20160718_110241.jpgH.E. Geir O. Pedersen, Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN, writing his commitment to the SDGs on exhibition blackboard 

The HLPF is central platform of the United Nations for the follow-up and review of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. It provided political leadership, guidance and recommendations on the 2030 Agenda’s implementation and follow-up; keep track of progress of the SDGs; spur coherent policies informed by evidence, science and country experiences; as well as addressing new and emerging issues. In addition to visiting the SDGs exhibition, H.E. Erna Solberg delivered the opening key-note speech at the start of the Ministerial Segment of the HLPF on 18 July and presented Norway’s voluntary national reviews on its progress of delivering the Sustainable Development Goals on the 19th.

IMG_20160804_171540.jpgJCI members at the exhibition’s selfie station

Taking up the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s challenge that “youth should be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national and global levels,” members of Junior Chamber International’s (JCI) visited the SDGs exhibition during the JCI Annual Global Partnership Summit. Held July 25 to 28 in New York City, the summit offered international leaders and JCI members the chance to visit the exhibition and experience its interactive selfie stations, take surveysand engage with the important challenges and opportunities that the SDGs present to youth globally.

IMG_20160729_111157 (1).jpgYoung students read the stories of Humans of MY World (www.facebook.com/homy2015)

Moreover, groups of national and international students have been particularly drawn to the exhibition’s touch screens hosting the MY World 2030 Survey (www.myworld2030.org), the High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment’s special MY World 2030 Empower Women Thematic Survey (www.empowerwomen.myworld2030.org) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Impossible Choices humanitarian challenge (www.impossiblechoices.org).

IMG_20160808_115129.jpgVisitor taking the MY World 2030 Survey on exhibition touchscreen 

The UN Virtual Reality film series, which allows visitors to immersively experience the life of some of the world’s most vulnerable using high-tech 3D VR headsets has been a major visitor attraction since the opening of the exhibition. Visitors have been touched by the human stories of the Syrian refugee crisis, the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and the effects of conflict in the Gaza Strip in the VR films Clouds Over Sidra, Waves of Grace and My Mother’s Wing (www.unvr.org).

IMG_20160729_104940 (1).jpgStudents watch United Nations Virtual Reality at exhibition 

Watching the movies and experiencing global issues up close has had a profound effect on visitors, many of whom have tried virtual reality technology for the first time. Especially touched was a group of students from LaGuardia Community College, NYC, who had scheduled a special visit to the virtual reality station. After visiting the exhibition with around 30 students the teacher wrote to the SDG Action Campaign to describe what a strong tool for the creation of empathy UNVR had been for the students:

“I just want to thank you for making the extra headsets available for my students last Friday. They were very impressed with the films. My students recently wrote an essay about whether or not the United States should take in Syrian refugees. Most of my students (who are all immigrants) said no, we shouldn’t let them in because there could be dangerous terrorists among them. One student stayed after class and argued with me about this, insisting that all Syrians are terrorists. After this particular student saw your film and experienced what it was like to be in a refugee camp, he told me he wants to rewrite his essay. We have been reading about refugee situations all during the term, we’ve seen film clips from the news, and we’ve watched Hotel Rwanda, and still most students wanted to keep refugees out. Your film changed that for some of them, which is very powerful. So thank you!”

The interactive SDGs exhibition will continue to be open until 4 September 2016.

HOW TO VISIT

The exhibition is open to the general public during official UN visiting hours:

  • Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
  • Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
  • All visitors must exit the building by 5:30pm.
  • Virtual Reality screenings at the exhibition: Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm.

The entrance is at 46th Street and 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10017. Visitors without an official UN Pass will have to first obtain a guest pass at the screening station on 46th and 1st across the street from the UN. Be sure to bring a photo ID.

If your delegation or mission would like to schedule a special exhibition tour, please kindly contact Kristin Gutekunst at kristin.gutekunst@undp.org (9143303774).

 

Building Bridges kicked off! From Amsterdam to Cape Town #BB2015UN

bb2Building Bridges kicked off in The Netherlands! From now until August, Jilt van Schayik (UN Youth Representative for The Netherlands) and Teun Meulepas will be cycling from Amsterdam to Cape Town. During this six month bike tour, they will cross 20 countries and over 15,000km (over 9,000 miles) to hear stories and collect MY World votes.

From the vast deserts of the Sahara to the central highlands of Namibia, from rural communities to crowded metropolises, and everywhere in between, Jilt & Teun want to connect with young people on the ground, share stories and inspire one another to make changes for the world we want. The duo have teamed up with youth representatives from every country who will be organizing events around their arrival to spread the word about MY World as the voice of the public to the UN. They will take photographs for Humans of MY World, gather MY World votes, and organize forums with young people. They will try to answer the question: “How do young people at the grassroots level envision the world in 2030?” ‪

2015 is an important time to activate the voices of the public to ensure that the sustainable development goals reflect the people’s needs and interests. As we look at the outcomes of the Millennium Development Goals, which come to a close on December 31, 2015, will the public feel that their governments made great strides in areas such as gender equality, sanitation, and the environment? What are the areas of continued need? These questions can only be answered by asking the people and sharing their votes and their voices.

Connect with Building Bridges

These young men have long road ahead of them! Follow their adventure and show your support between now an August. Connect on Twitter with #bb2015UN and on Facebook at Humans of MY World & Building Bridges!

Building Bridges & MY World was featured on Dutch television!

JCI India Hosts Aeromodelling Show to Collect MY World Votes

From JCI India

The 1st phase of the MY WORLD awareness launch was done during the Trade & Fun Fair of JCI Ankleshwar – an Annual event that has been held for last 12 years. The event was launched by Imm. Past President of JCI India Deepak Nahar, in the presence of 5000 people in Ankleshwar, India. Attendees included children and adults from all different walks of life, as well as community leaders such as Zone President of Gujarat Hemal Shah, Ankleshwar Industries Association President Chandresh Devani, President of JCI Ankletshwar Dhiren Shah, Project Chairman Sangita Nahar and other dignitaries present.

In order to draw attention to the importance of MY World as a means of engaging the public in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and to create the World We Want, we planned an innovative way to attract attention to our event – by organizing an Educational Aeromodelling show. During an aeromodelling show, model planes are flown to demonstrate the aerodynamics of a standard plane. These kinds of shows are exciting and captivating– a great way to bring the community together!

The Ladies Wing and the Junior JCI Wings of JCI Ankleshwar took up the responsibility of organizing the Educational Aeromodelling Show. To cover the cost of the Show, we sought sponsorship from local business houses, companies, banks and jewellers.  Special thank you to our sponsors, including: Garden City Resorts, Paras Jewellers, and Lupin Chemicals Ltd. Tickets for the show were sold through students in 15 schools of Ankleshwar. Students from several schools, were children of Industry workers are studying, were allowed free.

On the day of the show, 500+ students formed a human “MY WORLD” (see photo above). During the show, the importance of putting across our voices to create the World We want was announced to all the 5000+ people gathered, majority of them students. A My World stall allowed spectators to vote offline on pre-printed ballots. We also displayed cards of all the 16 priorities as well as a MY World – JCI Banner. To get the attention of all the media and press, a MY World-JCI Banner was towed behind one of the Miniature Airplanes to fly up in the Sky. The event was covered in Gujarati state channels like TV9 Gujarati, GSTV and in local News papers! 

The teachers of the school have agreed to conduct the survey during their classes. We have now also requested few schools to come up with volunteers who would like to go to the nearby villages to collect rural votes. We are planning to print the survey forms in local language – Gujarati for collecting rural votes. This shall be completed by March. The students and teachers are excited to be part of the worlds largest global survey to create the World We Want!

Flagging Off The Show

JCI Sandton, South Africa Starts “School Halls” MY World Campaign

10420036_296253207222377_5158767805348391997_nJCI Sandton visited Eastbank High School, at the centre of Alexandra for the launch of the MY World Campaign ‘School Halls’. This was a different school hall because students were asked to address the issues about the development of their community and the country. The theme of the School Hall was “Active Citizenship.” For the first time, students were able to share their views in the discourse. 400 votes were collected from the school from the school.

Shine on Power FMThe ‘School Hall’ coincided with the visit of the  JCI World President Shine Bashkaran who addressed the students about being active in their communities and using initiative such as the my world to make a positive impact. He also spoke about MY World on Power FM 98.7.

 

Sh10530798_296819977165700_942414691583150164_naka Sisulu – a South African public speaker, a writer, a social-activist & an entrepreneur. who advocates for social mass movements of good –  addressed the class and students voiced their concerns about the government and lack of resources within schools in Alexandra. Students seemed most concerned about the quality of education and the availability of good employment opportunities even suggesting that the government should increase their support for undergraduate studies by providing grants and or bursaries.

 

The founder of Miss EarthSA Catherine Constantinides discussed the importance of active citizenship and highlighted a good education, the environment and food security as some of her priority items.

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JCI South Africa shared short videos from other my world advocate to expose the students to the various view points about development.  One such video was from Luvuyo Mandela:

Follow JCI Sandton on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook!

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JCI Members Commit 2,522,500 votes at 2014 JCI Global Partnership Summit

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By Carlos Suarez, JCI External Relations Manager, with edits by Bonnie Stack, JCI Communications Manager
23-25 July, 2015 – New York

Nearly 500 young active citizens from over 50 nationalities united inside the United Nations at the annual Junior Chambers International 2014 Global Partnership Summit. JCI seized this significant, timely opportunity to discuss the final push for the advancement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and explore opportunities on shaping the post-2015 development agenda. With young people joining together to increase cultural understanding and create positive change, the event was an essential gathering to engaging active citizens from all sectors of society to formulate strategic partnerships for sustainable impact. “The Millennium Development Goals represent the greatest single anti-poverty campaign in human history,” UN Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General Kim won-soo said.

With the MDGs as a global framework to fight poverty, it will take the combined effort of governments, the private sector and civil society to develop a successful strategy and create measurable results.  The 2014 JCI Global Partnership Summit united leaders and representatives from all sectors to address and formulate sustainable approaches to development. The UN Millennium Campaign plays an integral role in engaging young active citizens by listening to their voices and providing the platform for taking targeted action, advocating for the MDGs and the post-2015 global development agenda. As young people around the world focus on the MDGs as a targeted approach to addressing challenges, strategic JCI partners recognized the importance of long-lasting collaboration.

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