With less than two months until the UN Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa on 1-4 September, Conference Secretary-General Wu Hongbo is gathering youth representatives from small island nations for a Google+ Hangout on 24 July at 3:30 pm EDT taking aim at the topic of ‘Samoa 2014: Empowering Youth for Sustainable Islands’.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have large youth populations. In 2014, about 27.4 per cent of the inhabitants of these nations were under the age of 15, with the exception of Singapore and Cuba. Like elsewhere in the world, many young people here have to face unemployment and other challenges related to economic development, such as a lack of access to quality education and engagement in politics.
But despite challenges, this large youth population offers tremendous potential as a catalyst for positive change. Young people in these countries, and their role to help promote and achieve sustainable development in their communities and beyond, will be in focus at an upcoming Google+ Hangout hosted by Wu Hongbo, UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General, who is also the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Small Island Developing States, to be held in September.
“The voices and input of youth are critical for the upcoming Conference in Samoa, as well as for the ongoing work to shape and drive forward progress towards the post-2015 development agenda”
UN Conference on Small Island Developing States
“The voices and input of youth are critical for the upcoming Conference in Samoa, as well as for the ongoing work to shape and drive forward progress towards the post-2015 development agenda,” said Mr. Wu ahead of the hangout event. “I am therefore very much looking forward to engaging with this group of youth representatives, discussing with them the issues that matter most to them and their peers,” Mr. Wu added.
Taking place in the run up to this event of critical importance to the wellbeing of people and the planet, the hangout will highlight successful youth activities and their potential to bring about sustainable development for these small island nations and beyond. It will also offer an opportunity for youth to voice their views on what is needed to achieve sustainable development for Small Island Developing States and how young people and youth organizations can contribute to partnerships.
The hangout, which will take place on UN DESA’s Google+ page, will bring together young people from the three different small island developing states regions: the Pacific, the Caribbean, and the AIMS (Atlantic, Indian Ocean and South China Sea) regions. The online audience is also encouraged to share questions and comments with the hangout panel before and during the event, mainly via Twitter to @SustDev using the hashtag #islands2014.
The panel is looking forward to receiving questions and concerns of the online community and to answer and comment on a selection of them during the event. This will also provide further input for Mr. Wu as he leads the work preparing for this landmark event. And what happens there will have global effects. “Small island developing States are at the frontline of global sustainable development. Their mission is our mission. It is incumbent on all of us to pass this milestone with flying colors,” Mr. Wu said.
Photo credit: Phil Falk – duluban gumil photography ©. Photo submitted as part of the #islands2014 photo call.