This past week Equity for Children co-hosted in partnership with the UN Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) the official children and youth forum for the UN Sustainable Development Summit, the “Children and Youth Hub 2015”, at The New School with the support of The New School’s Graduate Program for International Affairs. The Hub was attended by 100 youth from 12 countries. Through a series of workshops the event focused on building capacity for members of the MGCY and on further developing youth advocacy. Participants also strategized about the role of the UN MGCY going forward in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.The event objectives were numerous and mainly centered on providing access to reliable information for youth worldwide. Also expressed was the need to create a platform for the technical conversations and discussions on processes that will lead to the implementation of the new agenda in coming years.
The Hub was held from September 20 to 22 and consisted of plenary sessions to help participants gain a better understanding of the 2030 agenda, the different activities taking place at the regional level, as well as of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’s role as a youth gateway for diversity, actions and commitments. At the plenary sessions speakers and moderators facilitated discussions amongst regionally and ethnically diverse millennials that gave rise to thought-provoking questions regarding social issues such as what identity means, the limitations of nationality, the benefits and downfalls of diversity, and the consequences of group identification. Attendees were encouraged to participate in conversations about these issues in an environment that fostered safe expression and academic debate.
Breakout topical sessions were also held in order to provide a deeper understanding of specific SDGs, the issues they create, and the problems they are designed to eradicate. Session topics included: communication for advocacy, various policy themes that have influenced the creation of the SDGs (i.e. health, education, gender equality, peace, and climate change), and what monitoring and evaluation initiatives should look like going forward in regards to issues affecting youth as the SDGs are implemented. During these sessions small groups participated in topical conversations and evaluated specific SDGs and they practical applications.
Overall, attendee feedback was highly positive. Participants stated that the event helped provide a deeper knowledge of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda, as well as a critical understanding of the agenda and issues surrounding youth worldwide.
Please find the event agenda here.
Photo credit: Melissa Palomo