Launched by the United Nations in September 2018 by more than 30 founding media organizations – encompassing more than 100 media and entertainment outlets – the SDG Media Compact seeks to inspire media and entertainment companies around the world to leverage their resources and creative talent to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.

List of SDG Media Compact Members

IN FOCUS: QUALITY EDUCATION

Education is not only a basic human right, it is an engine for poverty eradication, and a force for peace. It is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals. Yet, according to the forthcoming World Youth Report (20 February), unacceptably high numbers of young people continue to experience poor education and employment opportunities.

Moreover, at least 260 million children and youth are out of school, many of them girls. If this trend continues, by 2030, more than 400 million children will have no basic primary education and 800 million young people will not have the skills needed to join the modern workforce.

Ahead of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 February), this editorial package highlights Sustainable Development Goal 4Quality Education – with a special focus on gender and youth. It brings together the voices of education advocates, and the work of the UN System on promoting quality education everywhere.

 

International Day of Women and Girls in Science – 11 February

Science and gender equality are both vital for sustainable development. Yet women remain woefully under-represented in science, warns UN Secretary-General António Guterres, adding that the world cannot afford to miss out on the contributions of half our population. Our special overview marking the Day includes a video message from the Secretary-General as well as a joint statement from Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of UN Women, and Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO. We explore how many of the biggest problems may be unsolved because too many women and girls are being discouraged from the sciences, and shine the spotlight on female innovators and education advocates.

World Youth Report Launch, 20 February

The global economy may have started to recover but youth employment has only worsened in recent years, leaving an estimated 71 million young people unemployed, and millions of others in precarious or informal work.

Even with jobs, some 156 million young people in low- and middle-income countries continue to live in poverty. Young women, migrants, LGBTI youth and those with disabilities are particularly vulnerable.

The UN’s World Youth Report, launching 20 February, focuses on youth education and employment and explores the complex challenges facing the largest generation of youth the world has ever seen.

Media contact: Martin Samaan (samaanM@un.org)

Exclusive Interviews on Quality Education

Can we achieve universal education for all by 2030? How do we fund education, particularly in developing countries where the youth population is growing rapidly? Our education advocates discuss the importance of inclusive, affordable and accessible quality education.

Bonita Sharma
UNESCO Female Champion

Amelie Jezabel Mariage photo

Amélie Jézabel Mariage
UN Young Leader for the SDGs, and Co-founder of Aprendices Visuales

Madelle Khanga photo

Madelle Kangha
 UN Young Leader for the SDGs and Founder of JumpStart Academy Africa

“Young people today in the school system… by the time they get into the workforce, they will be doing jobs that don’t exist today,“ warns Kriti Sharma, a Young Leader for the SDGs who founded the AI For Good organization in the UK to ensure that technology helps to create a better, fairer world. Listen to her views on ethical AI and the need to rethink how we educate and train young people to face the future of work.

Stories of Impact

Sustainable Food Initiative

School lunches in Germany are changing. From traditional meat-heavy meals, students are being served a more expansive selection of vegetarian options. The idea is simple: getting kids eat healthier and more sustainable meals while reducing carbon footprints of the schools’ food services.

Read more

Clean Energy Initiative

Martha Benavente, from Tucurú, a small municipality in Guatemala trained for six months to become a solar engineer. Now she can help light up her community with clean energy and start a lucrative business opportunity for a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field.

Read more

Educational Resources

Frieda

Frieda is a children’s book that uses storytelling to help children understand the Sustainable Development Goals. With the power of storytelling, the book aims to teach life lessons, and make children feel like they are our greatest hope in achieving the SDGs. It is available in six languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. Read more – and download the book – here.

SDG Book Club

Reading and learning are essential to children’s growth and development. As young people everywhere are critical to achieving the Goals, the SDG Book Club encourages them to learn about the Goals in a fun and engaging way. It also helps them realize what actions they can take, empowering them to make a difference. The book selection for each goal will be announced monthly for seventeen months, starting with Goal 1 in April 2019 and ending with Goal 17 in September 2020. Sign up for notifications.

Thomas and Friends

Family life plays such an important role in helping young children learn to adapt in our rapidly changing world. Thomas and Friends Life Lessons are easy and fun to follow and will help parents and teachers explore essential skills with their children that can enrich their critical thinking and communication approach. The lessons focus on six of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Download the Parent Tips here and for teachers, download the Teacher Tips here.

Other Resources

Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Quality Education explained.

Jo Bourne, UNICEF’s Associate Director for Education, speaks about the importance of SDG 4: Quality Education

Meet Hussein, one of 98 per cent of refugee students at a public school in Rochester, and the teachers who learn from the refugee experience.

Thomas and Friends have partnered with the United Nations to teach children about the SDGs!

NOTE: If you are interested in using the multimedia resources, please contact ar@un.org for the broadcast-quality version.

Upcoming events

11 to 21 February | Commission for Social Development 

UN Member States and agencies, as well as representatives from civil society and the private sector will gather in New York for the UN Commission for Social Development to discuss ways of addressing inequalities and improving social inclusion through fiscal, wage and social protection policies.

21 February | International Mother Language Day

Every two weeks a language disappears taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. Nearly half of the world’s population does not have access to an education in a language they speak. On International Language, we celebrate the power of languages as instruments of preserving and developing our heritage.

28 February | International Dialogue on Migration – Youth and Migration (IOM)

The propensity to migrate tends to be highest among young people. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will organize a dialogue in New York to make sure young people’s voices and rights are heard and considered in global policy discussions on migration.

SDG Planning Calendar 2019

Sustainability At Work

Global Compact Initiatives

Young SDG Innovators Programme provides workshops that guide future business leaders to innovate new business solutions to address global challenges. Join the conversation on social media using #youngSDGinnovators.

Principles for Responsible Management Education  the largest organised relationship between the United Nations and business schools, aiming to transform business and management education globally, while promoting awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals.

For more information, visit: https://www.unglobalcompact.org/participation/join

Goal of the Month – March Edition

The next editorial package will highlight SDG 5 – Gender Equality, ahead of International Women’s Day and the sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women.