On February 1st, 2016 at 3 pm GMT, I started watching the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s Youth Forum. It was a very interesting forum, more than 600 youth leaders from around the world have attended it in New York, and many more must be following up, like me, virtually. It felt great to hear such inspiring young leaders make their voices heard. Yes, I was not in New York, but it felt like I was there. The energy and the passion these young leaders showcased were enormous. Listening to them made me hope I was there with them; well, maybe one day.
Samar Mezghanni, a Tunisian female youth leader and a Cambridge PhD student, gave an inspiring keynote address at the UN ECOSOC Youth Forum. “In this room, as I speak to you, I see power.” She said. It felt great to hear her words. Yes, when you see youth, you see power; you see an enormous energy willing to make change in the world. Samar is just one example of thousands of youth leaders who want to bring about positive change to the world. This only shows that young people are determined to be change agents. She showed great leadership.
As a young global citizen, I was proud to see her standing in front of that many people and delivering a keynote address. It only tells us that it is the time of young people, it is the time for governments to acknowledge youth and involve them in tackling the problems they are facing in their communities, because youth are the solution.
During the first session of the Youth Forum, the youth leaders took part in discussing how Youth can take action in implementing the 2030 agenda. The Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, spoke at the opening of the Economic and Social Council’s Youth Forum. He highlighted young people’s crucial role in shaping the 2030 Agenda. He has called them agents of change whose contributions will bring benefits to both themselves and to society.
Ahmad Alhendawi, the UN’s Youth Envoy, moderated the Youth Forum. An inspiring young person he is. Ahmad has given a speech in which he has stressed that youth are a very important asset in tackling the sustainable development goals. He as well talked about the 10 mistakes made about youth; an example of these mistakes is that youth need support. “Youth need Investment not support,” he said. And that is true, young people want to take action, and it is time for governments to invest in youth.
As a young person, I was very lucky to meet Ahmad Alhendawi last December in Jordan, while attending the UN’s Global Citizenship Education workshop, where I have met inspiring young people who care about global issues and who are working towards solving them, people I am happy to call my family.
Young people around the globe agree that Education, Healthcare, and Employment are their top 3 priorities. So as young people and citizens of this world we should make sure that every person on earth is educated. Because education is, I believe, the key to achieving development worldwide and overcoming global issues such as terrorism.
The UN estimates that nearly 75 million young people around the world are out of work. Some 40 per cent of all economically active youth are either unemployed or working in poverty. That is why we need more young Entrepreneurs in the world, who will share their skills and knowledge with the future ones. Young entrepreneurs will shape the future of entrepreneurship, and this is how we can solve Youth’s unemployment.
I believe that it is our duty as young people to make sure the SDGs are achieved. And I am confident we can do it. By making sure everyone is educated, and in result fully engaged and contributing to the positive change happening around the world, change will happen. We are young, and we are powerful.