#Youth4GG Campaign to Mobilize 1 Billion Youth to Meet SDGs

Students in Dili, Timor-Leste.
Students in Dili, Timor-Leste.

By Chris Morris

The campaign will help deliver ADB’s vision of an Asia and the Pacific free of poverty, with improved living conditions, and quality of life for its citizens.

In line with ADB’s commitment to support youth’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ADB and the world’s largest youth-run organization AIESEC, along with founding partners PVBLIC Foundation, Kinetic, Mekanism, and UN Habitat, launched the “Youth for Global Goals” (#Youth4GG) campaign at the Global Leaders’ Summit in Morocco on 16 February. More than 250 young leaders from 130 countries joined the event.

Through the #Youth4GG campaign, which aims to educate youth on the SDGs and mobilize them to contribute to its success, youth across the region will help deliver ADB’s vision of an Asia and the Pacific free of poverty, building a region with improved living conditions and quality of life for its citizens.

#Youth4GG will serve as an activation platform for a collaborative effort between the youth and development stakeholders to create positive impact on the ground. To support the campaign, AIESEC’s YouthSpeak Survey—which will show how global youth envision the world in 2030—will also provide insights to stakeholders such as NGOs, governments and the private sector regarding youth engagement to create and implement volunteering and social impact projects to achieve the SDGs.

"We aim to raise awareness about the SDGs through the YouthSpeak Survey and ask important questions about what young people care about ,and how they see the world changing over the next 15 years," said Ana Saldarriaga, 2015-2016 President of AIESEC International.

The Future We Want outcome document of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development referred to young people as “custodians of the future” – highlighting youth as important stakeholders, with critical roles to play in helping achieve the goal of creating a sustainable future for themselves and future generations. Governments, international agencies, civil society, and private sector organizations have realized that young people are powerful agents of change who—if supported and empowered—can help deliver the Agenda 2030.

On the other hand, youth should also understand and acknowledge their role in the development agenda. That’s why AIESEC have set specific global targets and indicators for the #Youth4GG campaign and crafted a 4-step framework for young people to create a better world to live in (impact), and encourage youth and partners to contribute to achieving the SDGs (outcome):

  • Reach. Encounters the SDGs virtually or physically, but demonstrates no linkages or awareness to Agenda 2030. (2016 target: 1 billion)
  • Awareness. Has a basic level of knowledge about the SDGs, and is aware of the importance of working together to achieve all the SDGs by 2030 to make the world a better place to live in. (2016 target: 25 million)
  • Understanding. Comprehends the meaning of at least one SDG, including the targets and indicators, and can define what he/she can do to contribute as a young person to the achievement of that SDG.
  • Action: Undertakes measurable activities which contribute to achieving the SDGs. (2016 target: 28,000)

The SDGs will only be successful if they are inclusive. If we are to leave no one behind, then we should strengthen our call for involvement of the youth – the first generation that can end poverty.