The Role of Youth In Reaching The Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are international accepted goals for developing the world. Together with two other youth volunteers from Tanahun District, Nepal, we picked out 6 of the total 17 STG. We had an interactive workshop where 160 participants from the National Junior/Youth Seminar partook in a session were they could discuss and write ideas of how youth, and especially Red Cross Youth, can be a part of achieving these 6 international goals.

Two Youth Volunteers from Tanahun District talking about the role of youth in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. Photo: Kathrine Olsen Flaate.

What is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)?

STG consist of 17 goals to transform the world. They are international accepted goals to build a better world were no country is left behind. They target to be achieve within 15 years (2015-2030). You can find 169 different targets/indicators under the 17 goals set by The United Nations at 25th of September 2015. Previous goals were called the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Click here to read about all the 17 STG.

The role of youth reaching the STG

Some of the SDG are about changing people’s minds and thoughts. Creating peace, have mutual understanding and to have gender equality can be reached by changing society’s norms and traditions. By starting to work with the youth, it can affect many generations in the future. If a youth for example get to understand and develop values of respect and focusing on creating gender equality, it can affect his/hers future family and all the people he/she meet.

Youth are also representing a big percentage of the world’s population, and if we are to reach the 17 goals within 2030, we have to involve all ages in a society; because the goals are about every human being in the world. Red Cross Youth Nepal have currently 800 000 volunteers, if the youth together with Nepal Red Cross find a way to mobilize all this resources, we can only imagine how much they could do.

We picked out 6 goals to focus on during the workshop that was based on the fields of activity of the Red Cross Youth in Nepal:

3. Good Health and well-being (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages)

4. Quality education (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all)

5. Gender equality (Gender equality is a fundamental human right. Women and girls are to have equal access to education, health care, decent work and representation in political and economic decision-making processes)

6. Clean water and sanitation (Ensure availability and sustainability management of water and sanitation for all)

10. Reduced inequalities (Reduce inequality within and among countries)

16. Peace, justice and strong institutions (Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for Sustainable Development. Provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels)

So how can youth contribute to reach these 6 goals?

160 participants wrote down and discussed their ideas in our interactive workshop. Here you can read some of the ideas. If you do not understand the language, find a paper and a pen, and start to write down what YOU can do!