Kofi Annan was a visionary leader, a dedicated diplomat and a committed campaigner for peace, human rights and social justice. The UN SDG Action Campaign joins the United Nations family and the rest of the world in mourning the passing on of Mr Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General who died on the 18th of August, 2018.
Mr Annan worked tirelessly to ensure that the United Nations is about the people and together with Member States delivered the UN Millennium Declaration which gave birth to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
To his eternal credit, Mr Annan established the UN Millennium Campaign, the precursor of the SDG Action Campaign to mobilise the world around the MDGs and rally all people to a global movement of making poverty history. Today, the impact of the MDGs and the work of the Millennium Campaign have both gave the world a renewed vigour and commitment to ending poverty and inequalities and a planet befitting for present and future generations. This is evident in the adoption of the successor frameworks of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015.
Above all, in establishing the Millennium Campaign, Mr. Annan laid the foundation for giving people voices to participate in global and national processes that determine their future. The UN SDG Action Campaign has continued in this light in our work and partnerships across the world.
On his departure, we celebrate the life of a leader, a reformer and a Campaigner. We believe that the best way to immortalise the life and work of Mr. Annan is in promoting the ideals for which he lived and worked for – a world without poverty and injustice. The UN SDG Action Campaign will always be inspired by his vision to continue to work with our partners all over the world to build a global movement that will facilitate the achievement of the SDGs by giving people voices to engage with this universal and transformative agenda.
The Road to Nairobi 2016 Project, with the support of the local World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper Hub, traveled around the greater Maputo area to meet 10 youth entrepreneurs working in a variety of sectors, in order to learn from their challenges and to get a better understanding of their lived experiences. The ventures discovered ranged from a tech startup working on information asymmetry in the labor market, to a design firm which transforms waste into materials for interior design. These individual stories are featured on the Humans of MY World photo-narrative blog.
The path of an entrepreneur in Mozambique can be difficult and trying at times; a few of the entrepreneurs we met noted how the economic climate is having an impact on their businesses. Even so, some young people are choosing entrepreneurship as an alternative to looking for a job, where they are confronted by a youth unemployment rate estimated at around 80%. The young people who are resilient enough to try youth entrepreneurship need support, role models and an enabling environment.
Frederico Peres Da Silva, co-founder of a tech startup in Maputo, recognizes the importance of entrepreneurial role models: “If you are in the [United] States, a CEO understands the value of mentoring a startup. You know why? Because he’s heard of Facebook, he’s heard of Snapchat, he’s heard of WhatsApp. He goes, ‘Oh, what if this is the next Facebook?’ To change that perception in Mozambique you need to have a couple of references in the market. You need to have your champions.”
Young Mozambicans that have taken to the MY World global survey prioritize good education as one of the key areas where they hope to see positive improvement. The youth entrepreneurs we met further discussed the current education system and their experiences with it. However, they are not only focused on education in general, but see the importance of having practical skills and experience in the workplace as the key to success in their entrepreneurial journey.
Lack of technological infrastructure and resources are other challenges to educational access and entrepreneurship in Mozambique. Frederico is using technology to help young unemployed Mozambicans access the job opportunities through their phones.
Where gaps and challenges exist, young people in Mozambique are stepping up to empowering each other and themselves. Marlene de Souza found that young people were unable to communicate and translate their knowledge into action in the workplace. She started a company which offers training to university students on skills such as how to successfully enter the job market and how to communicate with “attitude,” so that these students can bridge the gap between the academic and labor market.
Diogo Lucas started a business to help SMEs access finance and gave them the tools to mature into sustainable businesses. According to Diogo, this is something SMEs really need: “There are opportunities for small businesses but they’re not developing because there is not enough support, there’s not enough money. Bank finance is hard to come by with all these challenges. When I was travelling across the country I realized that it’s not because they have bad businesses. It’s because people don’t have the skills or the ability to access capital that can help them grow and develop.”
Sázia Souza runs a company which offers tech solutions to companies and private individuals. Twice a month, she and her team trains children on how to use computers. When asked about her passion for technology and education, Sázia said: “Mozambique has a problem when it comes to using technology. People are not prepared for the future. Technology is growing too fast. When you go to some schools, they don’t even have computer lessons. Even the teachers don’t know how to use the computers.”
Youth entrepreneurs in Mozambique are working to carve a bright future for themselves. They are working together and with other young people to support skills development while growing a culture of entrepreneurship. To help them on this path, it is important to understand the Mozambican context as well as the lived experiences of rural and urban young Mozambicans in order to empower them for success. The Road to Nairobi team spoke to youth entrepreneurs and asked them what changes they would like to see to support youth entrepreneurship in Mozambique:
Lineu: More young people need to have the courage to start for themselves. I started with nothing and almost 100% of the people didn’t believe in me.
Claudio: When you register a business, you are sent from one place to another. The process will be better when everything is in one place. It should take less time and require fewer documents.
Wilton: Government must create conditions for young entrepreneurs to develop businesses. Especially fiscal policy because currently, police doesn’t differentiate between being a young entrepreneur or an old entrepreneur.
Sides: We need more incubators with people who have been trained to support youth entrepreneurs.
Authors: Samantha Ndiwalana (Project Manager of the Building Bridges Foundation) and Annemarelle van Schayik (Research Manager of the Building Bridges Foundation).
By Di Cao-Youth Advocate of UN Millennium Campaign
During the 70th UN General Assembly, the UN Millennium Campaign (UNMC) together with our important partners from Chinese civil society organized a series of events to further engage Chinese NGOs in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With one-fifth of the world’s population, China has achieved the Millennium Development Goals in seven development indicators ahead of time, including poverty reduction, halving the hungry population, universal primary education, eliminating gender discrimination in primary and secondary education, reducing under-five mortality, tuberculosis and malaria prevention and control, safe drinking water and basic sanitation facilities. The direction of China’s future development endeavors and the degree of its commitment to global public goods will have a significant impact on the entire international community.
Director of the UNMC Mitchell Toomey and Secretary General of China NGO Network for International Exchanges You Jianhua
On September 18th, 2015, UNMC supported the China NGO Network for International Exchange (CNIE), the China All-Women Entrepreneurs (CAWE), and the China Great Wall Society (CGWS), in organizing “Balance and Sustainability: Chinese Civil Organizations Support Global Development Agenda” Roundtable in the UN Headquarters in New York City. Guests from the UN, government, private sector, and civil society from around the world attended the meeting. Keynote speakers from various professions shared their experiences and inspiring ideas about the SDGs: Mr. Yang Xiaoping, Vice President of Charoen Pokphand Group, talked about the innovation PPP model in developing modern agriculture; Mr. Huang Haoming, Vice Chairman, Executive Director of China Association for NGO Cooperation (CANGO), shared his research on activating the role of NGO in helping government to achieve poverty reduction goals. Chinese civil society has been actively involved in the implementation of the MDGs in the past. As the SDGs are about to launch at the time, a new proposal of Chinese civil organizations on the implementation of the post-2015 global development agenda was presented during the GA.
Attendees of “Balance and Sustainability: Chinese Civil Organizations Support Global Development Agenda” Roundtable
Following the roundtable, UNMC welcomed the Chinese delegation to hold a moment in the We the Peoples’ Hub to present significant achievements of China implementing the MDGs such as climate change and affordable energy from the NGO’s perspective. This moment also served as a platform for conversation between the UN and Chinese civil society on SDGs as well as the moving forward partnership.
Director of the UNMC Mitchell Toomey and guest speakers from Chinese civil society in We the People Hub
Youth advocates from YouThink
To bring a human perspective to the development agenda of China, UNMC showcased Humans of MY World in China, which featured the voices of various vulnerable communities and marginalized individuals in the country, including low-income groups, migrant workers, children and youth. During the China Moment, these stories were exhibited to a global audience through multi-media tools. The stories are also available on https://twitter.com/myworld2015
NEW YORK – The UN Secretary-General released the post-2015 Synthesis Report, in an Informal Briefing to the General Assembly. The unedited version is available online here in English only. It will be available in all official languages at the end of this month.
Article 37 mentioned MY World and the World We Want as a way for people to provide valuable input into the building of the new agenda.
See below for an excerpt of the report and more information for how to submit feedback.
The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General On the Post-2015 Agenda
2.2 What we have learned from the post-2015 process
36. The international community has come a long way in its deliberation on the new
development agenda. In July 2013, further to a request by the General Assembly, I
submitted to the membership my report A Life of Dignity for All. In it, I recommended
the development of a universal, integrated and human rights-based agenda for sustainable
development, addressing economic growth, social justice and environmental stewardship
and highlighting the link between peace, development and human rights – an agenda that
leaves no one behind. I called as well for rigorous review and monitoring, better and
more disaggregated data, and goals and targets that are measurable and adaptable. I
outlined a number of transformative actions that would apply to all countries.
Many voices have informed this debate, and there have been valuable inputs from a wide range of stakeholders. (a) People around the world aired their views through the unprecedented consultations and outreach efforts of organized civil society groups as well as the global conversation led by the United Nations Development Group on A Million Voices: The World We Want, Delivering on the Post-2015 Agenda: Opportunities at the 11 National and Local Level, and MY World Survey. Millions of people especially young persons, took part in these processes, through national, thematic, and on-line consultations and surveys, as mirrored in the Global Youth Call and the outcome of the 65th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference. The direct and active engagement of parliamentarians, business and civil society has also been critical.
Civil Societies can add to the report
The UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) and UN DESA Division for Sustainable Development (DESA-DSD) invite Major Groups and other civil society stakeholders to submit their official responses to the report to a central online repository via this online form: http://bit.ly/Submit-CSO-Response-SG-Synthesis
UN-NGLS and DESA-DSD provide this mechanism to support review of these important perspectives by all stakeholders in preparation for the continued elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda, beginning with the 19-21 January negotiating session at UN Headquarters in New York. A preparatory forum for stakeholders will be conducted on 16 January by DESA-DSD and UN-NGLS at UN Headquarters. More information about this forum will be provided soon.
Over 300 young Pakistani youth representatives from all over Pakistan gathered on Tuesday at a youth forum to meet and launch the My World Survey with the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi.
Young boys and girls from different social backgrounds interacted with the Youth Envoy and shared their views and perspectives about their challenges and aims with regards to access to education, skill development, employment, sexual and reproductive health and to their participation in policy making and peace building in the country.
Chairman of Youth Revolution Clan, Rizwan Anwar noted that “Pakistan’s biggest asset is its youth; we are becoming a youth partner in the development agenda and we are committing to raise more than one million votes for the MY World Survey with as many people as possible: citizens of all ages, genders and backgrounds, and particularly the world’s poor and marginalized communities.” He continued “with more than 2000 youth ambassadors, Youth Revolution Clan will be working with civil societies, youth organizations, universities, colleges and government sectors to mark the difference.” He specially thanked Mr. Ravi Karkara, UN Global Advisor on youth & children for his continuous guidance, support and motivation to launch the campaign in Pakistan that has been in planning for the last nine months.
This is a guest Blog written by:Francis C. Anyaegbu, Africa Region Representative, UN-HABITAT Youth Advisory Board. Follow him on Twitter: @francisanyaegbu
During the 5-11 May MY World Global Week of Action, UNHABITAT, Youth Pioneers For Development, and various Youth Groups teamed up to collect votes in Makoko, a slum in Lagos, Nigeria. We decided to adopt the three suggestions for engagement suggested in the toolkit:
Our motivation for choosing Makoko community was drawn from our recognition of the neigbourhood as a slum with lots of residents from disadvantaged backgrounds whose voices needed to be heard. The population of residents according to Wikipedia is estimated to be over 80,000 and interestingly this demography was not enumerated in Nigeria’s last census exercise in 2007. We are also aware that in most cases, like other major slums in Lagos most of them usually do not have their voices captured in developmental initiatives.
For the school, we felt it was important to also capture the voices of students to enrich the survey.
We were only able to collect about 103 offline votes out of which about nearly as 40 votes came from the Residents of Makoko slum neigbourhood while the remaining came from Students of Yaba College of Technology, a institution of higher learning about 20 minutes away from the Community and 5 minutes away from the University of Lagos. One of the reasons we were not able to get much votes as anticipated from Makoko was because of general apathy for surveys. Resident of the slum settlement were concerned about any adverse effects that may ensue from the collation of the survey. But we were only able to allay the fears of a few with the kind assistance of the community Youth leader.
For Makoko, we recorded significant votes for “Better job opportunities,” “Better health care,” “A good education “as well as access to clean water and sanitation.
NEW YORK (5 Mar 2014)- The United Nations Post-2015 One Secretariat highlighted progress and emerging findings from the UN Millennium Development Campaign’s newest platforms to capture citizen’s voices, priorities and views to inform the post-2015 agenda: The MY World survey, and The World We Want, during a side session of the Ninth Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals on 4 March 2014 . Representatives from the the President of the General Assembly’s Office, Permanent Missions to the UN, UN Agencies and its affiliates, Civil Societies, Youth Organizations, and Students and Professors participated in the session.
The event was moderated by Olav Kjørven, Special Advisor to the UNDP Administrator on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Mr. Kjørven delivered country reports to the various attending member state delegates, showing them the results of both platforms.
This event – significant in the unification of decision makers, policy influencers and advocates — highlighted the results of MY World and the World We Want. To date 1.5 million votes have been captured since the survey originally became available online, by SMS, and by paper ballot in early 2013, and since it was officially launched in September 2013 by the UN Secretary General. In tandem, the World We Want hosts the 88 national and 11 thematic consultations that have taken place to capture the voice of civil societies. Both of these platforms have been gathering people’s voices to better inform the decision making process for the post-2015 development agenda, the major negotiations of which are ongoing through September 2014. The survey will be available until December 2015.
The survey takes special care to ensure that even the most vulnerable groups have access to the vote. “We found that many people did not have access to the website and that SMS was primarily used by men,” began Mr. Sering Falu Njie, Deputy Director, UN Millennium Campaign. “The most wonderful part of this survey is not only that it is available online, but that we have amazing support from over 700 partners at country level who are going out with paper and pen and making sure that even grandmothers, or young children in remote villages can vote. In addition, we are incorporating civil society led consultations side by side with the UNDG led consultations and sustainable development solution databases. This consolidates the various inputs on the World We Want platform, making it a one-stop-shop for the post-2015 sustainable development conversation.”
Another important contribution of these different platforms is the way the data can be disaggregated by region, gender, age, and education level –a proxy for income. “We can easily compare the vote of poor young women in Bulgaria to those in Britain and Benin,” said Mr. Paul Ladd, Head of the team on the UNDP Post 2015 Development Agenda. “We can also track tweets about the different priorities to see what people are talking about in social media and compare whether they are in line.”
“MY World is the one of the most useful inputs we have had in a UN process,” emphasized Csaba Kőrösi, Permanent Representative Permanent Mission of Hungary to the UN. “This is sending an important message to member states by its citizens; and we are listening.”
Mr. Nicolas Pron gave remarks on behalf of The President of the 68th General Assembly, Ambassador John Ashe, who was unable to attend. “As we shape the contours of this new framework, I think it is fair to say that the openness, transparency and inclusiveness of this process have been unprecedented. People around the world have joined in this global conversation and are sharing their hopes and aspirations for the world they want. Through online and offline consultations, The World We Want platform has given voice to over a million people who have come forth with their concerns and priorities and I am looking forward to hearing more about your findings this evening. ”
Following the short speeches, members of the UN Millennium Campaign assisted visitors in accessing the data on the various TV screens located around the exhibit. It is currently in the UNICEF Danny Kaye Visitors Center lobby.
The night of September 25, 2013 was a remarkable time for MY World. Even though it was held during the week of General Assembly, the busiest time of the United Nations, our partner recognition event was greeted with overwhelmingly interests and engagement. The crowd drew to the exhibition space in UNICEF House, New York, where the event was hosted, was just as inclusive as the MY World Survey. From Nobel Economic Prize winner Muhammad Yunus to disabled children from our partner in India – NineisMine, everyone had a chance to share their voices on MY World and the post 2015-development agenda.
“I am thrilled that by making a simple phone call people can take a virtual seat at the UN to participate in a global conversation on the roadmap for the future” – Ms Priyanka Chopra
Mumbai, 27 May 2013 – The United Nations has invited citizens from around the world to vote on the issues that make the most difference to their lives. Over 560,000 citizens from 194 countries have already voted in one of the largest global surveys ever undertaken, providing real-time and real-world intelligence on what people think are biggest challenges.
Rio de Janeiro, April 1st 2013 – The Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign, Ms. Corinne Woods, arrives in Brazil tomorrow for an official visit aimed at strengthening collaboration with the Brazilian Government and civil society organizations in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.
During her stay in the country, between April 2nd and 5th, Ms. Woods will meet young girls, slum dwellers and indigenous communities to listen to their claims and visions for the new development agenda to be in place after the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. Brazil’s national consultations for the post-2015 scenario are being facilitated by the United Nations in collaboration with the Government. The results of the consultations will be submitted to the High- Level Panel that will produce the report to the UN Secretary-General to advise him on the post-2015 global development agenda. Continue reading “Director of UN Millennium Campaign arrives in Brazil for official visit and dialogue with civil society organisations”