“We the Future” - A Youth Declaration
“We the Peoples... Together Finding Global Solutions for Global Problems”
67th United Nations DPI NGO Conference
United Nations Headquarters, New York
22-23 August 2018
We, the young peoples of the world gathered at the 67th United Nations DPI/NGO Conference, join our voices and efforts to uphold the value of multilateralism and re-commit ourselves to seeking global solutions for global problems, including but not limited to, achieving the targets set forth in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Youth, with our unique capacities and vibrant energy, are propelling humanity’s movement towards a new future. Today, millions of families are still trapped in extreme poverty, struggling to access even basic resources like education, healthcare and employment. Today, a quarter of the world’s youth still live in the shadows of violent conflict, everything from wars to human trafficking to substance abuse threaten to steal the promise of our tomorrow. And today, all on the planet earth are impacted by environmental degradation, communities of people and creatures are endangered by pollution, climate change, sea-level rising, and many other byproducts of human development. If we don’t join in concerted action now, we may not have an earth to live on tomorrow.
The rising generations recognize that we must work collectively, across national, generational, and other real or fabricated boundaries, to shift the current paradigm and create new global and multilateral structures, to weave a new tapestry of economic, technological, environmental and social life that can drive humanity’s evolution towards collective prosperity. We have power in numbers and when united, can demand immense change. We the Youth are taking the lead and contributing our expertise, energy, experience, passion, and creativity in implementing global solutions. It is in this spirit that we set forth this Declaration of our shared visions, commitments, and recommendations.
We the Youth are united in our vision for a peaceful and sustainable world. Together we affirm that:
- Global problems are beyond the power of any single entity to tackle; partnerships are essential to create and facilitate lasting change. Multilateralism is more than partnership by multiple entities, but rather inclusive collaboration of states and non-state actors. We need to implement the new collaborative model, as described in “People-Centered Multilateralism: A Call to Action”, recognizing and respecting all peoples’ right to participate, especially those who have been traditionally underrepresented.
- We will continue to work together and undertake sustainable actions that can benefit all of humanity; we will continue to work towards ending conflict, countering violence and building sustainable and lasting peace.
- We share responsibility for our planet, strive to live in harmony with nature, and must work to minimize the human-made effects of climate change.
- We must create economic systems that can provide for the well-being of all, ensuring that development does not take precedence over the health of people and the planet.
- We are one in our humanity, with natural and inalienable human rights, including the right to determine our future; civic participation must also be a right ensured to all.
- We work to remove all forms of discrimination against sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, religion, physical appearance, political affiliation, other-abled individuals, which are all counterproductive to progress.
- We must be included in decision-making at all levels of political processes and structured mechanisms for youth participation must be incorporated into all public institutions.
We pledge to commit our abilities, efforts, and heart to:
- Increase awareness of and work persistently towards the accomplishment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, their corresponding targets, and the commitments set forth in the Gyeongju Youth Declaration.
- Become active global citizens supporting our peers across their spectrum of needs, from ending poverty in all dimensions, supporting women and girls, to quests for public office and other leadership positions in service of the community. We also proactively demand space for youth in all public fora.
- Become more conscious of the effects of our own consumption activities and make responsible decisions in our daily lives that can help in achieving Agenda 2030.
- Increase awareness of and advocate for human rights in our work, honor all life with respect, and join together to fight the injustices committed against youth across the world;
- Contribute to the repositioning of the UN Development System and improvement of other international bodies, making them more progressive, fair, sustainable, effective, youth-friendly, and shouldering our share of the responsibility in shaping the future of our world.
- Serve as open partners, sharing our technology, information, knowledge and skills with those who can benefit from them and creating opportunities for intergenerational partnerships, learning from friends and spreading best practices.
- Help create safe spaces of expression for those who are left out of the existing political system, including but not limited to residents of conflict-ridden areas, migrants, displaced people, refugees, stateless people, and other groups in vulnerable situations.
- Draw on our advantageous position as youth to facilitate peacebuilding, reconciliation, and the cultivation of new communities.
Fully understanding that in order to achieve a paradigm shift, we need more than just personal action. By resonating the hopes of youth around the world, we, with a unified voice, call upon:
- States and other entities committed in multilateral agreements to deliver their promises and to be trustworthy partners to ensure stability in the rules-based international order.
- States and non-state actors to augment diversity and inclusion across all spectra in their decision-making process, making sure that those most impacted are part of the deliberations, understanding that superficial tokenism does not foster true partnership.
- States to ensure access to quality and culturally-relevant education for all, reaching even the most vulnerable communities, providing the materials and knowledge to cultivate independent learners.
- States to integrate Agenda 2030 into all facets of their education curricula, considering informal, non-formal, experiential, service-based and interdisciplinary education as emphasized elements of the learning experience.
- States to consciously design their education systems to enhance global citizenship by fostering inclusivity, developing leadership, and encouraging innovation and creativity in youth.
- States to address youth unemployment as a priority by investing in workforce development, creating green jobs, internships, and apprenticeships, supporting entrepreneurship; and to implement effective workplace policies to protect youth from exploitation.
- Everyone to respect youth as equal partners in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Everyone to consider environmental consequences, including those affecting life on land, life below water, and the global climate, and to prioritize the use of renewable energy and technology.
- Governments to increase financial resources for public health concerns, such as mental health and wellness, drug use and addictions, family planning, wireless radiation, reducing cancer risk amongst the youth, and the global obesity epidemic.
- All levels of government to dedicate time, space, and resources to develop localized plans that achieve the targets of the SDGs.