SDG warriors open Youth Forum with advice for building better world

In a video tribute on the occasion, UN Secretary-General António Guterres remarked, “Our world needs you more than ever.” The three-day summit, along with the dozens of side events it will feature, is being put on by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Its focus for 2023 is to accelerate the world’s recovery from COVID-19 and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels.

SDG warriors open Youth Forum with advice for building better world

According to the Secretary-General, young people are essential to creating a brighter future. The estimated 1.8 billion young people in the globe today, who are between the ages of 10 and 24, constitute the largest youth generation in history. He said young people play a crucial role in the objectives of Our Common Agenda, his forward-looking action-centered vision for a better, brighter, sustainable future for all, and pointed to a recent UN policy brief calling on states to involve youth in dialogues.

The policy brief urges Member States to acknowledge the value of young people’s perspectives in this vein. In addition, he said, youth are needed “to lend their energy” in the fight against poverty and in the run-up to the historic SDG Summit in September. He stated, “Today, I urge you to stand up for the SDGs.” “Let’s work together to create a better future.

Nearly 800 attendees in person and thousands more online from around the world will review progress on a number of SDGs during the three-day Forum and offer suggestions on how to best advance progress on urgent challenges, from creating sustainable cities to forging fruitful partnerships for fostering green progress in industry, innovation, and infrastructure.

SDG warriors open Youth Forum with advice for building better world

Jayathma Wickramanayake, the Envoy for Youth of the Secretary-General, stated that she returned from parental leave early in order to participate in the engaging gathering.

Complex global challenges, such as growing geopolitical tensions, a never-ending climate disaster, and persistent poverty, serve as a backdrop for the Forum, she said. “We have heard time and time again that the world needs more opportunities for meaningful interaction for all stakeholders in order to address these concerns.

She urged decision-makers to uphold the spirit of the Secretary-General’s ambitious recommendations and work towards tangible pledges and action to meet young people’s expectations. This is especially true for young people, who are most frequently left behind, excluded, and marginalised.

In order to leave a lasting impression on future generations, she urged all young people to “join forces, utilising your leadership to elevate and champion the diverse voices and concerns of youth in all our diversity.”

As envisioned in the 2030 Agenda, it is our duty to build a world that is peaceful, just, sustainable, and equitable, leaving no one behind. We must make sure that all young people are empowered to realise their full potential, have access to resources, and can participate in decision-making at all levels in the seven years that remain.


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