“2015 must be the year the world wakes up and delivers a safer, more just future for children and young people. We all must play our part in ensuring this is the case. Do not let this opportunity go to waste” – Malala Yousafzai
“We need all countries to do their part through the choices they make, from voting booths to grocery stores…It is not only Government leaders, but everybody – individual citizens, civil society, and particularly the business community” – Ban Ki-moon
“Young people will be the torchbearers of the next sustainable development agenda through 2030. We must ensure that this transition, while protecting the planet, leaves no one behind. We have a shared responsibility to embark on a path to inclusive and shared prosperity in a peaceful and resilient world, where human rights and the rule of law are upheld “– UN Report, December 2014
World governments have been meeting to negotiate a new set of agreed world goals called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the betterment of everyone particularly those living on the margins.
The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs can be defined as new goals, targets and indicators that United Nations member states, including Ireland, will be expected to use to make sure people around the world live better for themselves and for the planet. The new goals are a follow on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and will be in place for the next 15 years until 2030.
There are currently 17 goals with over 100 targets to be achieved.
The world negotiations have included discussions on everything from poverty, hunger, health, child protection, inequality, sustainable living, education, climate change, development, gender equality, water and sanitation, peaceful societies and sustainable development.
Young people have an important role to play in the development, monitoring and implementation of the new goals. Indeed, Ban Ki-moon has referred to young people as being ‘the torchbearers’ of the new goals which will be in place from 2016-2030.
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) held a Roundtable discussion involving young people and those who work with young people to explore the up to date information on happenings at the United Nations as well as to examine how young people in Ireland can actively engage in this new agenda at local, regional, national, and global levels.
Why should young people be concerned and engaged?
There are 1.8 billion young people – the world is home to the largest generation of young people aged 10 to 24 in its history
Close to 90 percent of the world’s youth live in developing countries, where they tend to make up the largest proportion of the population
More than 500 million youth aged 15 to 24 live on less than $2 a day
Some 74 million youth are unemployed, and more than 600 million jobs need to be generated globally by the year 2030
Young people aged 15 to 24 people are almost three times more likely than older age groups to be unemployed, and in some countries the youth unemployment rate exceeds 50 per cent
Some 69 million adolescents of lower secondary school age remain out of school
In developing countries, 1 in 3 girls is married before her 18th birthday
1.5 billion persons, the majority of them under the age of 30, live in conflict or in fragile situations
Young people are under-represented and excluded in decision-making processes: Fewer than 2% of parliamentarians around the world are in their 20s and only 12% are in their 30s
Despite significant progress made since the MDGs were adopted, this generation of young people has been left behind. They are still denied the opportunities that they need to realise their full potential.
What follows below are recordings from the Roundtable event focusing on young people and the post 2015 agenda. In addition to these, you will see links to other events, statements and further links which you can explore.
This process is changing on a daily basis so it is important to keep up to date on happenings. We will endeavour to help you with this via this page so please keep an eye out for updates. If you wish to get in touch with us on any of this, please email Valerie via firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 478 4122.
Ireland is taking a lead on the world negotiations together with Kenya which is a huge honour for Ireland.
2015 is a crunch year when these negotiations at the United Nations in New York must produce a roadmap by which goals and targets will be achieved.
As citizens of the world, young people will have a key role in ensuring the success of these negotiations as well as being important players in the implementation of any new plan agreed.
The United Nations are very keen to involve young people. Amina J. Mohammed, UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on the Post-2015 Development Planning recently said: “The opportunity to engage young people and other excluded groups gives me most optimism. They have vision, ability and energy. Many of us leaders, who are responsible [for leading transformation in development], would like to think that we have vision, but we certainly don’t have the same energy. We must figure out a way to let everyone, and especially the young, play their part, without negating our own responsibilities towards them. No one should be left behind.”
Mary Robinson also acknowledged the role of young people in a recent statement: “Young people and future generations matter. They hold a legitimate interest in the outcome of ongoing negotiations in both the climate and development processes. Their concerns extend beyond the lifetimes of the people negotiating the processes and yet those negotiations will ultimately determine whether the world in which they live out their lives offers opportunities in terms of quality of life, personal safety and equity.”
2015 is also the European Year of Development during which NYCI together with other development and development education organisations will work to raise awareness about Ireland’s and the EU’s role in development within Ireland. Check out here:
More Information on the Sustainable Development Goals
For more information on the Sustainable Development Goals and engaging young people, please check out the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s meeting of young people at the UN which took place in February 2015:
Sincere THANK YOU to everyone who made this Roundtable event the success it was.
Thanks to all the facilitators who worked so hard to make this day a success. Thanks to Dermot (Celtic Youth Bray), Karol (Scouting Ireland), Tammy (Crosscare), Jean-Marie (NYCI), Anne (NYCI), Stephen (Trócaire), Maggie (NYCI), Fionn (Maynooth University), TJ (YMCA), Laura (NYCI), Leo (Maynooth University), Medbh (Maynooth University), Anne (NYCI), Olive (NYCI), Martina (NYCI), Tara (Maynooth University), Mariam (Maynooth University), Jennifer (Maynooth University), Feidhlim (ECO-UNESCO), Teresa (Maynooth University), Anthony (ECO-UNESCO), and Grace (VSI).
Thanks to Think Visual for graphically harvesting the Roundtable and to Niall Sheerin for photography and videography.
Thanks to NYCI staff who pulled out all the stops to make this event a success – Lisa Hyland, Rosie Boyle, Aurica Cozneac, Elaine Lowry, Laura Geraty, Martina O’Brien, Geraldine Mahon, Daniel Dunne, and Daniel Meister.
Thanks to our funders for continuing to support our work – Irish Aid, Trócaire, Concern, Leargas.
Sincere thanks to our presenters for giving of their time and expertise – Dympna Hayes (Irish Aid), Mark Nowottny (Restless Development), Tom Arnold (IIEA), Hans Zomer (Dóchas), Heather Mason (FOE Ireland), VSI, ECO-UNESCO, Concern Campaign Academy, Barefeet Ireland, Celtic Youth Bray, Niall Tierney (DFA), Jen Murphy (Trócaire), Tony Daly (developmenteducation.ie) and Hilary Tierney (Maynooth University). Particular thanks to Mary Cunningham (NYCI) for chairing the event and to all participants.