Goal 1: No Poverty
The panel highlighted that poverty is a multidimensional issue and that data has risen to become one of the most effective means to understand poverty issues around the world. Data analysis allows us to know where poverty is and who is impacted. The panel also elaborated on youth’s role in fighting poverty. The speakers encouraged young people as data generators and data users to take more proactive steps in producing constant feedback and reports in the fight of poverty eradication. Combining traditional methods with new technology, the panelists said, youth has the capacity and great potential to make commendable progress in ending poverty.
Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
The panel focused on World Bank Group’s contribution in promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all. The speakers explained the interdisciplinary factors involved in sustainable economic development. The panel also highlighted the importance of partnerships in solving job challenges. The “Better Work Program,” a partnership between ILO and IFC, serves to improve working conditions around the world. As the world bank works towards reducing extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, it emphasizes the importance of financial transparency and data accessibility in achieving these goals, according to the speakers. Going forward, the World Bank is also looking into gender equality, climate actions and refugee crisis to tackle economic issues from multiple angles.
Goal 13: Climate Action
The panel addressed the urgency of climate issues and discussed the viable ways of harnessing clean energy and eventually explained youth’s role in reinforcing environmental sustainability and resiliency. The speakers established that the idea of “new normal” calls for inter-sectorial partnerships to unify and work collaboratively towards feasible solutions. The speakers stated that understanding risks, strengthening governance and therefore investing in resilience are crucial. In this process, knowledge of disaster risk and measure of risk reduction are important in dealing with environmental injustice. The need to engage youth was brought up by several panelists. Communications, outreach and education were deemed essential in mobilizing youth in environmental initiatives. At the same time, the speakers reinforced that collective efforts are required to build more career pathways for youth to engage in various climate conservations.
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
“Eliminating the Idea of Waste”
The panel explained responsible consumption and production in a very comprehensive way. The concept of circular economy is highlighted as a model to understand the importance of recycling. Often the extra cost incurred and extra steps involved in recycling discourage many corporate organizations or individuals from taking responsible steps in their production or consumption habits. The panelists from Terracycle highlighted the importance of providing both environmentally and economically sustainable solutions for companies. Incentives must be imposed to reshape people’s behaviors into the five Rs, namely, Refuse what you don’t need, Reduce what you need, Reuse what you can, Recycle what you cannot and finally compost the Rest.
Goal 5: Gender Equality
The panel discussion revolved around gender roles - how gender inequality issue arises and how both women and men could both rise up to social challenges. The panelists encouraged that women must find the courage and faith in themselves to take more active roles and stand up for the causes that they believe in. On the other hand, they said that the effective methodologies should be deployed to engage men, especially young men in understanding their roles and responsibilities in gender equality. Redefining gender roles and challenging social norms require collective efforts. Along, panelists have also highlighted the use of sports and poetry in bridging gender gaps and creating constructive conversations. And amongst all, education still holds its upmost importance in achieving gender equality.
“Engaging Youth in Achieving the SDGs”
The panel discussed the great potential that the youth have and the challenges that they face in their attempts to achieve the SDGs. Through personal stories and experiences, the panelists pointed out their concerns and passions, which resonate with many of the young audiences attending the panel. The panelists reinforced that youth engagement has to start from local communities. It was discussed that many young people with potential are chronically underfunded or largely isolated. The session highlighted the need for collaborative platforms to allow scalable and sustainable ideas to shine and to be implemented. Furthermore, it is also essential for the youth to map and document their stories and to effectively measure their social impacts. In this way, youth can leverage on the resources to expand their efforts in achieving the SDGs.
Youth Involvement at the UN
The speakers on this panel pointed out the need to create a balance through a constructed narrative focused on both progress and challenges. They reiterated that getting youth voices heard is the most viable and effective way for youth involvement at the United Nations. One of the panelists was a representative of the SDG Action Campaign. She discussed her organization’s role in involving young citizens to help build and maintain political will and show governments that their people do care. The panelists also weighed in on the importance of social media by saying that it allows youth to be change-makers wherever they are.