When you think about our actual global present, is it something that you like? This last year has been rough, we have seen how everything changed so fast and now we have to think about how to face the social and economic impacts of COVID-19. Meanwhile, we have to accept the fact that the gap between people living in rich and poor countries had increased, how is mentioned in the “Leaving No One Behind” UN Report this year.
How can we change this reality?
First, we have to take action as young people and to take action we have to be informed about our context and global reality problems, some of them are: climate change, unemployment, education, poverty, gender inequality, migration, environmental degradation, peace, and justice.
These issues have something in common, can you guess?
Yes, they are related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
And now that we’re informed, we can do direct actions to get involved with the 2030 agenda and fight against these problems.
How to take action as a youth generation?
We have to acknowledge that there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 percent of the global population and we’re increasing with time.
So we really need to start thinking about how to embrace this huge youth population. It’s time to leave no one behind. Achieving the 2030 agenda relies not only on setting goals but also on a responsive approach to the voice and needs of youth.
By equipping young people with skills, knowledge, and confidence in their abilities, there is a real chance that global leaders can harness the potential of young people to reach the SDGs over the next 9 years. Together we can work towards creating a generation of empowered youth and support long-term sustainable development.
Roles for youth and the SDGs
Critical thinkers: Part of being young involves making sense of personal experiences and asking questions about the world around you. Youth have the capacity to identify and challenge existing biases and contradictions in our system!
Change-makers: Young people also have the power to act and mobilize others. Youth activism is on the rise everywhere around the world, as we live in a more connected world and with more access to social media.
Innovators: In addition to bringing fresh perspectives, young people often have direct knowledge of and insights into issues that are not accessible to adults. Youth best understand the problems they face and can offer new ideas and alternative solutions.
Communicators: Truth is, around the globe, we still see that many people are not aware of the Global Goals. Young people can be partners in communicating the development agenda to their friends and communities at the local level, as well as across countries and regions.
Leaders: When young people are empowered and equipped with leadership skills, they can drive change in their communities and countries. Like AIESEC who directly intends to develop leadership in youth, other Youth-led organizations should be supported and strengthened as they are contributing to the development of young people.
And most of all, it’s important to take action! By attending events such as Development2030 who create a space for sharing ideas, forming partnerships, and collaborating effectively to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In whatever role you are in, your actions matter.
Youth and our potential
In recent years youth witnessed and felt a huge dissatisfaction with the model of leadership in older generations, problems that we know are really serious as climate change are not taken in action as we wanted.
We have to say that we have shown that a part of young people really care about global issues. Many young people around the world participate in SDG projects. However, they realized that there is only one way to make the SDGs possible and is to encourage and empower youth to actively participate in achieving the 2030 agenda, with that support they can inform and concertized into local, national, and regional levels.
This is the moment that we can show that our generation is different. If we do things right with all our potential, for sure we would have a more bright future. Remember youth plays a significant role in shaping a new reality, and now is the moment to transform the world into a better place not just for our communities, but for the global reality.