We won’t take no for an answer, the only way to achieve the SDGs is together.

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Montréal (Canada), April 2019 – Between the 8th and the 9th of April, the ECOSOC Youth Forum took place in the UN Headquarters in New York. AIESEC participated in the event to share the contributions towards the 2030 Agenda through the Youth 4 Global Goals initiative as well as to understand how can we enhance our efforts and join the dialogue around the collaborations necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

AIESEC was represented at the UN Headquarters by Mohamed Fadel – Global President, Joaquim Sanvictores – Executive Director, Youth for Global Goals and Agnieszka Okroj – Global Vice President Public Relations as well as representatives from National and Local Offices from AIESEC in the United States, Canada, Mozambique, Brazil and the Mainland of China.

(The representatives of AIESEC at the ECOSOC Youth Forum )

Highlights from Day 1 (8th of April)

The Opening of the event was marked by a powerful message by young activist Yolanda Joab  “Progress does not happen when you are comfortable, it happens in the moments like these when the disempowered become empowered.. and everyone realizes their universal right to equality.”

The first plenary, suggestively titled “Youth 2030: Working with and for Young People”, enabled youth participants to understand the efforts taken by various UN member states towards youth development and youth engagement in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the recently launched UN Youth Strategy.

The day continued with regional discussions, sharing ideas, collaborating and understanding how different countries are creating policies to contribute to the SDGs and was concluded with separate SDGs spaces shedding light on the current stage and progress of the implementation of the SDGs. A particularly important part of these spaces was gathering youth insights on how to best progress to achieve the goals based on their respective indicators.

Highlights from Day 2 (9th of April)

The second day of the forum was marked by the Members States and Youth organizations representatives shared their views on the state and trends of the means of implementation for youth development and engagement in the 2030 Agenda.

AIESEC had the opportunity engage in discussions around the best approaches to facilitate the meaningful inclusion of youth in the civic, political and economic spheres and the inter-linkages with peacebuilding and sustaining peace and well as challenges and examples of ongoing initiatives.

“How are you working to engage youth in intercultural and cross-cultural understanding?” –  the President of the UN General Assembly has spoken to the importance of intercultural dialogue for peacebuilding and sustainable development.

The Forum concluded with the main message shared by the UN Youth Envoy, Jayathma Wickramanayake: To make significant progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, we need urgent action and the world’s largest demographic, youth. “

(from left to right: Joaquim Sanvictores – AIESEC Executive Director, Youth for Global Goals; Alexandra Robinson – AIESEC Elected President for the term 2019-2020; Jayathma Wickramanayake – UN Youth Envoy; Mohamed Fadel – AIESEC President)

The Future of Work

On the 10th of April, Mohamed Fadel shared insights on the challenges and opportunities on the future of youth employment during the High-Level Breakfast on the Future of Work.

In the context of 63 million youth still facing unemployment, he talked about the importance of taking immediate action and the challenges and opportunities for the future of youth employment.

Moving Forward

In the words of  Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General “Young people are a lightning rod for change. Your persistence is above that of other generations. You must not take no for an answer.”

AIESEC wants to further stress the importance of cooperation to be able to achieve the 2030 Agenda. This calls for youth-led organizations, public sector along with business and the private sector to join forces for a common and universal vision for a better world. The only way is together.

AIESEC is a global platform for young people to develop their leadership potential through international internships and volunteer opportunities. Since AIESEC was founded in 1948, the organization has engaged and developed over 1,000,000 young people globally through international placements and membership opportunities. AIESEC is a youth-run, non-governmental, and not-for-profit organization in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), affiliated with the UN DPI, member of ICMYO, and is recognized by UNESCO.

About The ECOSOC Youth Forum:
The ECOSOC Youth Forum is a platform for young leaders from around the world to engage in a dialogue among themselves and with United Nations Member States and share ideas for advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and furthering discussion on the UN Youth Strategy, Youth 2030: Working with and for Young People.

For more information, please contact:
Agnieszka Okroj, AIESEC, agao@ai.aiesec.org


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