AYUDH Americas attends United Nations ECOSOC Youth Forum

Five AYUDH Americas members attended a youth forum at the United Nations on February 1-2, 2016. The forum was led by the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and held within the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The conference’s seating arrangement interspersed country representatives with youth delegates; this setup enabled participants to discuss ideas to implement the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, particularly those targeted to youth. The AYUDH members served as representatives of AYUDH and M.A. Math at the forum. More than 1000 delegates and representatives from around the world attended the forum, entitled “Youth Taking Action to Implement the 2030 Agenda.”

On the first day, His Excellency Mr. Oh Joon, the President of ECOSOC, as well as Mr. Jan Eliasson, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations welcomed the delegates. Conference delegates attended breakout sessions to strategize ways to materialize the sustainable development priorities, including education, youth employment and entrepreneurship, climate change, poverty, health, and empowering women and girls. The breakout sessions were followed by a plenary session, where each breakout session addressed their goals and priorities within their theme to the whole forum. Later that evening, conference delegates and representatives attended a reception held at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations.

The second day of the forum began with breakout sessions focusing on regional priorities for youth development. The regions with breakout sessions were Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, the Pacific, and the Arab regions. The breakout sessions were followed by a plenary session discussing the priorities of each region, followed by an interactive discussion on promoting youth as partners in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Ms. Noella Richard, co-chair of the United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development and Youth Policy specialist, moderated the session. After the mid-day break, another plenary session took place with the discussion being based on promoting innovative partnerships involving youth to implement the 2030 Agenda. Mr. Dan Price, Founder and CEO of Gravity Payments delivered the keynote address of the session. He discussed the importance of being honest as a leader, and gave insights into his own life and experience as a young leader himself. The session’s goal was to provide the youth an opportunity to share perspectives and principles on establishing partnerships, as well as to target effective communication around the SDGs and their implementation into specific projects.

The AYUDH members left the conference excited and equipped to align their goals and current projects with the 17 SDGs emphasized at the conference. Throughout the conference, the delegates took the time to reflect deeply on the role of youth in making and mobilizing their actions and resources. It is evident that regardless of what young people do for their communities, they will be required to build credibility and make their voices heard and hold their leaders accountable. 

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Packed chamber of more than 1000 delegates and representatives!

Climate Change Breakout Session

This is what a breakout session looked like with fellow delegates and representatives from around the world!

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A view of the forum from the seats of the AYUDH representatives

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Check out the 17 Sustainable Development Goals!

To read more about the SDGs, click here!