The ECOSOC Youth Forum brought young people from around the globe to come together to discuss ways in which young people can and are helping to manage the shift from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The forum also addressed ways to ensure that the needs and priorities of all youth are at the center of the future development agenda and its implementation. It was a platform for youth to engage in dialogue with Member States and contribute to policy formulation on economic and social aspects.
The forum consisted of a number of speakers and panels that spoke about these issues, and then there were occasionally follow-up breakout sessions and interactive discussions to give young people in attendance the opportunity to voice their opinions. In these sessions, notes were made to ensure that the necessary UN representative members and staff heard young people’s opinions. Additionally, young people could bring back what they learned from the forum to their organizations around the world, specifically sharing new ideas for how youth can be engaged in the future SDGs.
MY World was a strong focal point for the opening event because it gives young people the ability voice their vote and become engaged in the future SDGs. Through this simple survey, national representatives can see what their people are voting for as their priority and compare it to the world populations’ results. In his opening remarks, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon commented that, “Seven million people responded to the UN’s My World survey. Seventy percent of them were under the age of 30. The input of youth has been crucial to developing the next generation of sustainable development goals. Young people’s views were reflected in my synthesis report on the post-2015 agenda. I proposed a set of six elements that are critical to sustainable development: Dignity, People, Prosperity, Planet, Partnership and Justice. All of these matter to youth.”
An amazing and inspiring video by a high school girl highlighted the importance of the MY World survey and youth engagement in the next round of SDGs. The video was presented to the entire youth forum at the end of final remarks. Be sure to share the video with your friends and family so they understand the importance of the MY World survey and the SDGs: