Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are also known as Global Goals adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. To achieve all the 17 SDGs, we require a strong partnership and support of governments, the private sector, civil society, and citizens alike to make sure we leave a better planet for future generations.
The clock is ticking and we have only 9 years left to achieve the targets. We cannot imagine a better world without achieving these goals. In a short span of time, the target is to achieve a lot and it is imperative to engage young people in this process.
Youth – A force to change the world
One of the most important stakeholders who can genuinely change the picture are the youth. Today, there are over 1.2 billion people aged 15 to 24 years, making up 16% of the world population. Young people are a driving force for development – but only if they are provided with the skills and opportunities needed to reach their potential, support development, and contribute to peace and security. We really need to start thinking about how to embrace this huge youth population and mobilize their talent and actually how they can mobilize their talent and get them to leadership.
The active engagement of youth in sustainable development efforts is central to achieving sustainable, inclusive, and stable societies by the target date, and to preclude the worst threats and challenges to sustainable development, including the impacts of climate change, poverty, gender inequality, unemployment, conflict, and migration.
Increasing the number of youth with relevant skills for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship will help move progress towards SDGs. It is to be noted that investing in young people is “one of the most effective, long-term and exponential investments” to achieve the SDGs. Observing that youth are the main beneficiaries of the SDGs. The UNGA President urged harnessing youth’s enthusiasm and ingenuity.
Education and skill programs for the youth
Education is at the heart of human progress and central to the Sustainable Development Goals. Ultimately, the skills of the future are skills for sustainable development. Apart from formal and quality education, what they need is to learn life skills such as empathy, communication, adaptation, decision-making which is very important to ensure a future of dignity for the world’s young generation.
With improved education outcomes, relevant skills and competencies, and access to decent jobs, youth can help accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, fostering a prosperous, sustainable and equitable socio-economic environment for all and building peaceful and inclusive societies.
Following are the courses that are available to understand the SDGs and how you can contribute your part to achieve them.
UN Women Training Centre eLearning Campus (United Nations)
Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Public Health Free Online Courses
Conflict series: 1. What is a conflict? 2. Conflict analysis (United Nations)
Introduction to the 2030 Agenda
Decision Making under Deep Uncertainty – Long-Lasting Investments in a Changing World (World Bank Group)
Gender Matters (United Nations)
UN Climate Change: E-learning (United Nations)
Skills2Serve – A certified experiential learning program designed by MASH Project Foundation
Ways to contribute your part in SDGSs
When a youth is capable of making good and conscious decisions for society, they are contributing their part to achieve the goals. It doesn’t matter in which sector they are working or what their job is. What matters is the action because every action counts. The creativity, know-how, technology, and financial resources from all of society are necessary to achieve the SDGs in every context.
Sustainable development skills are also central to creativity and imperative for a creative, adaptable workforce. Rather than considering sustainable development as a different, specialized subject field, businesses and higher education institutions should embed sustainable development experience and competencies into leadership development and other programs. Institutions, teachers, and learners all have a stake in the future of jobs and career skills, students all have a stake.
Often the best way to make an impact towards reaching the SDGs is to stop doing the many things that cause more harm than good. To create change is to connect with others trying to create change. One person alone cannot change the world, but together we have a real chance.
4 best ways to contribute your part in achieving SDGs are:
- Do less harm
Therefore, it is important to understand the various skill requirements that are needed to serve the SDG agenda and the type of teaching innovation that can be further pioneered in order to enhance this ambition further. Developing new skills for green jobs can be integrated into efforts to achieve SDGs.
By equipping young people with skills, knowledge, and confidence in their abilities, there is a real chance that global leaders and policymakers can harness the potential of young people to reach the SDGs. Together we can work towards creating a generation of empowered youth and support long-term sustainable development goals.