We Are 2030

Youth Driving Forward Inclusive and Peaceful Societies in Asia-Pacific

Global Goals UnityYouth can make a real and positive difference by engaging with these challenges head on through innovation, exploring dynamic approaches to mobilising their peers and communities and creating adaptive solutions

In September 2015, the world’s leaders signed off on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), a global agreement identifying the world’s policy priorities for the next 15 years.

As the governments of Asia and the Pacific and the UN look towards implementation of the SDGs, it is increasingly being realized that one of the greatest challenges facing policymakers in the region is how to engage the region’s 700 million young people in crucial decisions that affect them. With such a large number of youth, the potentially important role of this generation in Asia-Pacific’s development in the 21st century cannot be overemphasized.

•    High levels of unemployment. Despite high levels of education, the youth unemployment rate in the region is 2 or 3 times higher than the rate of the adult working age population

•    Lack of civic space for youth to engage meaningfully in the public sphere. Young people are not participating in public life and political processes to the extent that they should, furthering a sense of alienation and mistrust in government;

•    Over 50% of world’s conflicts are located in the Asia-Pacific region. A major factor contributing to conflict and insecurity, in addition to increasing inequality, is the chronic governance challenges that hinder inclusive political participation;

Youth can make a real and positive difference by engaging with these challenges head on through innovation, exploring dynamic approaches to mobilising their peers and communities and creating adaptive solutions

How do we approach these challenges?

Without addressing the challenges to youth, sustainable development cannot be realised. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide renewed optimism and opportunities to tackle the persisting problems and new challenges of the post-2015 world through to 2030.

Through the Regional Youth Network, UNDP and UNV are working to achieve following:

•    Support young people to more effectively engage with the Sustainable Development Goals

•    Empower young people to become influential change-makers

•    Listen to the voices of young activists, entrepreneurs, innovators and peacebuilders to drive sustainable development

•    Increase youth political participation and civic engagement

•    Harness youth volunteering to build peaceful and inclusive societies

•    Invest in youth innovation and social entrepreneurship in order to maximize youth participation in the 2030 Agenda

What will the Change Makers do?

SDG-16 is specifically dedicated to the “promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels”. Using SDG-16 as an entry point, the Change Makers will co-design and present innovative approaches to social challenges:

•    Develop innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to the SDGs

•    Explore the role of youth in peacebuilding and conflict prevention

•    Discuss youth participation in policy and project manage to broaden the impact of their actions

•    Connecting influencers and opinion leaders that impacts on youth

•    Change-Makers will influence the design and implementation of UNDP and UNV work on youth

•    Envision and discuss what the successful implementation of the SDGs would look like

These young leaders will act as SDG Ambassadors in their communities, countries and on a regional basis. Every day around the world young people are building bridges across communities, working together, educating each other, and helping to manage conflict and promote peace. Through this platform, we wish to give those young people a voice.

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