Young People at the HLPF
On the sidelines of the Forum, there were several events that were focused on youth, and heavily involved the participation of young people as key speakers and moderators. Some of the events included World Youth Skills Day, Engaging the Public for Action on SDG 11, and SDG Media Zone.
In celebrating World Youth Skills Day on Monday, 16 July 2018, the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN, Permanent Mission of Portugal to the UN, Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, UNESCO, and ILO hosted an event titled “Youth Skills for Sustainability and Innovation”. Jayathma Wickramanayake, the Envoy on Youth, was one of the opening speakers at this event. “While there may be sufficient job creation to compensate for technological unemployment,” said the Envoy, “the realization of these opportunities will depend on ensuring that workers can move to newly created jobs. The challenge will be ensuring a fair transition for everyone, and it is crucial that we equip young people with technical, vocational and soft skills.”
Finally, to commemorate World Youth Skills Day and celebrate the successful event, the Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives of Sri Lanka and Portugal, H.E. Dr. Rohan Perera and H.E. Mr. Francisco Antonio Duarte Lopes, held a Reception at the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN.
On July 17, the Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN hosted a Side-Event on how to engage young people in creating inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities. This event allowed young people to showcase the role that youth leadership is already playing in driving action on SDG 11, and gave them the opportunity to open discussions with high level officials and civil society leaders on how to support their youth.
Following the SDG 11 side-event, the SG’s Envoy on Youth moderated the panel discussion at the SDG Media Zone, which engaged people all over the world in important conversations happening during the High-Level Political Forum. The SDG Media Zone brings together distinguished personalities and Member States, along with content creators, influencers, and media partners to strengthen the commitment of the international community in support of implementing the SDGs. Lena Sykorova, Founder of International Young Leaders Organization, and Daniel Sichilongo, Secretary General of Zambia Greens, were also in attendance, and spoke on how youth can take action into their own hands to become changemakers.