The United Nations’ Friendship Ambassadors Foundation (FAF) brought together more than 1,000 students and young professionals from around the world to collaborate at the 2018 Winter Youth Assembly from February 14th to February 16th, 2018. The theme of the 2018 Winter Youth Assembly was Innovation and Collaboration for a Sustainable World.
Students and young professionals engaged in seminars, workshops, and presentations to dialogue about the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda includes 17 goals which aim to eradicate poverty, protect the planet, all while encouraging continued prosperity. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the SDGs, seek to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies free of fear and violence.
The 17 SDGs envision a world free of poverty, with universal literacy and equitable access to all levels of quality education; a world committed to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene; a world with sufficient, safe, affordable and nutritious food; a world with safe human habitats and universal access to sustainable energy; a world which honors universal respect for human rights, dignity, culture, race, and ethnicity; a world in which every child grows up free from violence and exploitation; a world in which every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality with all legal, social and economic barriers to their empowerment removed; a world in which every country enjoys sustained economic growth and decent work for all; a world in which natural resource production and consumption – from air to land, rivers to lakes, oceans to aquifers – is sustainable; a world where we live in harmony with nature, where wildlife is protected.
Of the 17 SDGS, Goals 4 and 16 are paramount to today’s global security issues.
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive, equitable quality education with universal, lifelong learning opportunities. Ensuring that children and adults have access to quality education is one way to eradicate extremism. Some targets include:
• A world, by 2030, where all girls and boys complete free, equitable quality primary and secondary education
• Provide safe, inclusive and effective learning environments for all by building and upgrading educational facilities to be child, disability, and gender-sensitive
• Ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skills requisite for global citizenship and sustainable lifestyles
• Ensure that youth and adults achieve literacy and numeracy
Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions
• Significantly reduce all forms of violence and consequent mortality rates
• End all forms of violence towards children including torture, abuse, exploitation, and trafficking
• Promote the rule of national and international law, ensuring equal access to justice
These goals require the cooperation of all nations. All countries, acting in partnership, will implement the SDGs together. Governments should commit to working tirelessly for the implementation of this agenda by 2030.