AIESEC and UN-Habitat started to work together in 2015 when UN-Habitat became one of the first partners of Youth 4 Global Goals initiative. The partnership is centered around the UrbanAction – a global campaign to encourage young people all over the world to take action in their cities to advance SDGs particularly in the urban context and support the implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA). The campaign is aiming to encourage small and large-scale youth-led projects contributing to achieving the SDGs in urban context and implementing the New Urban Agenda.
For the first time ever, youth were recognized as stakeholders in the NUA drafting process and are frequently referred to throughout the document. They are critical players in the successful turnaround of NUA from paper to reality.
“UN-Habitat is honored to partner with AIESEC in this and other projects. We at the UN cannot achieve the SDGs on our own – we must partner with those that are engaging communities on a daily basis. AIESEC as the world’s largest non-profit youth-led organization with approximately 47,000 members in 122 countries is the ideal partner for UN-Habitat to achieve the SDGs and more specifically SDG 11 which seeks to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient,” said Douglas Ragan, Chief of Youth and Livelihoods at UN-Habitat.
Since the adoption of the New Urban Agenda in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016, UN-Habitat and AIESEC were developing an interactive Youth 4 Global Goals platform and an online game to spark the real action of young people in their cities that will contribute towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.
“We are now almost 1/5 the way into the “urban century”. By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will be concentrated in cities, and many of those will be youth. Because of this there is immense pressure on urban planning, building and governance – processes which cannot be tackled without meaningful citizen engagement and sustained participation”, said Mr. Ragan. “Gamification is one way in which those in city government can reach out and engage citizens, especially its burgeoning youth demographic who are first adopters and avid users of technology”.
The game was launched earlier this week on Youth 4 Global Goals website.
‘This wouldn’t have happened without the collaborative effort of two organizations that share a common set of values and a belief that progress can only be guaranteed with the help of young people. UN-Habitat’s continuous belief in the importance of stepping outside of the box and innovating in our ways of building strong sustainable societies has been integral to this incredibly promising initiative’, said Abdelrahman Ayman, Global President of AIESEC.4