During the second week of the HLPF, countries present their progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the High-level Segment of the ECOSOC.
At the opening session of the High-level segment of the ECOSOC, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth , Jayathma Wickramanayake, addressed the importance of recognizing people as active agents of change and active partners in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. Regarding meaningful participation of young people in the HLPF, the Envoy on Youth recommended the following:
“Firstly […] I call on this Forum to consider a broader and systematic engagement with young people to be ensured in its ongoing deliberations as a response to the 2030 Agenda’s recognition of young people’s role as critical agents of change.
Secondly, we need strong youth structures to ensure that young people, including young women and girls, indigenous youth and those living with disabilities, are recognized stakeholders in local and national processes. Institutionalizing youth participation gives young people a chance to know the review process and follow-up to the SDGs, build capacity to take an active role, collaborate with other groups in society in the joint effort of achieving the SDGs and holding their governments accountable.
At the local level, this could be through engaging youth representatives in municipal participatory planning, budgeting, or monitoring processes, making the 2030 Agenda directly relatable to young people’s lives.
Thirdly and finally, as we deliver, we need to deliver for young people. Especially those young people living in the most marginalized communities in the most vulnerable parts of the world. Investing in universal quality free education, investing in universal health coverage, empowering young women and girls to realize their full potential. Investing in young people can move the needle on achieving the SDGs in the lifetime of one generation.”
This year, 46 countries presented their Voluntary National Reviews – many of which mentioned the significant role young people play in the achievement of the SDGs. Additionally, young people around the world are becoming increasingly involved in monitoring and reviewing the implementation of the SDGs. Some of the Member States even included young people in their official delegations. Kudos to Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Sweden!