Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Together, Youth as Agents of Change
Brief summary of presentation of information made
The briefing was given by Mr. Stefan Schweinfest Director of the UN Statistical Division
Maher Nasser, Director Outreach Division, Department of Public Information
- Highlighted the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Noted that, within the youth population, Arab youth have the highest rate of unemployment,
Scott Carlin, Long Island University, Co-chair of the 66th UN DPI/NGO Conference
- Noted that we are in the lead up to the 66th UN DPI/NGO Conference in South Korea.
- Suggested that the ‘together’ in the title refers to “all 7.4 billion of us”.
- Argued that although the world has collective aims we have varied human needs.
- Asked youth to help write the action agenda for the DPI/NGO conference.
Ravi Karkara, Co-Chair of UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development and Senior Adviser Strategic Partnership & Advocacy to the Assistant Secretary-general/Deputy Executive Director of UN Women.
- Said that UN youth engagement started with a League of Nations meeting in 1936 recognising that young people need to be included in decisions that affect them.
- Explained the process of an international youth survey, concluding that the number 1 priority of young people is education.
- Noted the connection between achieving SDG 4 - Quality Education for all and SDG 5 – Gender Equality.
- Asked how young people’s inclusion in the SDGs could be strengthened. Discussed the communication of the SDGs and the need for creative, innovative, youth-led solutions.
Bill Hunter, Director of International Outreach and Lehigh University Representative to the United Nations
- Noted that while the SDGs are global they need implementation at all levels, particularly the local.
- Explained the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative which several institutions have already signed.
- Recommended cross-continental collaboration between universities.
- Encouraged students to ask their universities to sign up for UNAI - United Nations Academic Impact
- Called on DPI for a forum to define Global Citizenship.
- Introduced Lehigh’s Global Citizenship certificate and recommended similar programmes be instituted by other schools.
- Questioned what large corporations are doing for Global Citizenship.
- Noted the new perspectives that would be gained if everyone was educated.
- Expressed the need for understanding, non-judgmental attitudes, and kindness.
- Suggested we should learn from each other, particularly other cultures and languages.
- Said that Global Citizenship means all humans should be seen with equal value and asked if we could take for granted that all humans are basically good?
What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?
- Partnerships are constantly emphasized as key for the United Nations Agenda 2030.
- Youth engagement is key. The Salvation Army could consider how it can continue and improve the involvement of youth in decision making, particularly regarding international development and future policy.
- The Sustainable Development Goals are an international agreement but they will need local implementation. The Salvation Army could consider how to ensure that local corps, schools, and other centres are aware of the SDGs.
- Education remains high on the 2030 Agenda, the #UpForSchool petition should be remembered.