There is a place for youth at the table. AIESEC is present at the Seventy-third Session of the United Nations General Assembly
New York, USA, October 2018
In September 2015 the United Nations committed to a collection of 17 Global Goals for sustainable development to be achieved by the year 2030, largely known today as the Sustainable Development Goals, or simply the SDGs. In December of the same year, youth representatives gathered at the United Nations and joined the movement for achieving the sustainable development agenda. AIESEC, being on a mission to one day engage and develop every young person in the world and aiming for peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential, was, of course, one of the youth organizations to commit to contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In the past three years, in line with one of the main strategies of AIESEC’s five year plan, which is to shape its operations around the needs of the world, AIESEC has been putting the SDGs at the core of the activities and initiatives ran by tens of thousands of young people in over 120 countries and territories in which AIESEC offices are located.
To further the contribution towards the Sustainable Development Goals, AIESEC has been represented at the United Nations 73rd General Assembly attending side events and having meetings with like-minded organizations and partners. AIESEC was represented by Mohamed Fadel – Global President, Joaquim Sanvictores – Executive Director, Youth for Global Goals and Agnieszka Okroj – Global Vice President Public Relations at the UN Headquarters in New York.
One of the key highlights of the week has been the launch of the Youth 2030 Strategy. As “globalization, new technologies, displacement, shrinking civic space, changing labor markets and climate impacts” are putting huge pressure on the largest young generation in history, as noted by UN chief António Guterres, youth leadership is gaining more and more importance hence why AIESEC hopes to lead the conversation on how young people can develop the leadership qualities vital for the 21st century and for achieving sustainable development.
In this respect, AIESEC’s Global President, Mohamed Fadel joined the panel discussion on the topic of “engaging and mobilizing youth for peace” in the SDG Media Zone as well as the second Goalkeepers event initiated by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He was joined by Agnieszka and Joaquim at Goalkeepers Award Gala, where three individuals with extraordinary stories were honored for accelerating progress towards the Global Goals, while Katie Lovejoy, AIESEC’s Business Development Director attended the largest and most inclusive nonpartisan forum alongside the United Nations General Assembly, the Concordia Annual Summit.
Seeking to foster cooperation for achieving sustainable development through youth engagement and empowerment, AIESEC made good use of the occasion to meet with like-minded organizations and partners present at the event. Some of these include UNICEF, PVBLIC, Teach For All, JCI, Project Everyone, and World Merit.
Of paramount importance was meeting the UN Youth Envoy which allowed the initiation of dialogue on how can AIESEC have a real contribution to the Youth2030 Agenda by utilising its global presence as a youth-led movement.
After one week spent in New York exchanging opinions, gaining relevant insights and fostering new cooperations or consolidating already existing relationships, the conclusion can come from Mohamed Fadel who says that “Progress is Possible. It can and it will keep getting better. @AIESEC believes youth have the key to unlocking the floodgates to progress, and we do that through developing our leadership capacity.”
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, we have engaged and developed over 1,000,000 young people globally through our 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 UN’s General Assembly:
The General Assembly is one of the six main organs of the United Nations, the only one in which all Member States have equal representation: one nation, one vote. All 193 Member States of the United Nations are represented in this unique forum to discuss and work together on a wide array of international issues covered by the UN Charter, such as development, peace and security, international law, etc. In September, all the Members meet in the General Assembly Hall in New York for the annual General Assembly session..
As a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), affiliated with the UN DPI and UN’s Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, AIESEC attended the UN’s 73rd General Assembly side events.10