On the 25th of September, 2015, 193 world leaders adopted 17 ambitious Global Goals that aim to end poverty, realize human rights for all, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change for everyone by 2030. The Sustainable Development Goals 2030 agenda works towards a sustainable future that is integrated, inclusive, and universal. The goals combine a total of 169 targets that specify issues and topics that need to be addressed in order to leave no one behind on this journey towards development.
This promising set means nothing without those who own this future; 1.8 billion young people call this world home, one that reflects a future that needs infrastructure, aspirations, development, and perhaps, saving.
For the first time in history, world’s youth were defined as a primary stakeholder to help governments and other organizations achieve the SDGs by the end of 2030. Former president of AIESEC International (world’s largest youth-run organization), Ana Saldarriaga, had once said: “We relentlessly work on engaging and developing every single young person in the world; we partner with numerous business, civil society, government and media leaders to ensure collaboration and investment in young people becoming key players today and top leaders tomorrow.”
Youth 4 Global Goals Initiative
AIESEC declared the adoption and commitment to contribute to achieving the Global Goals for Sustainable Development by mobilizing and developing young leaders who create awareness, foster engagement and take action to implement these goals. This resulted in an initiative called ‘Youth 4 Global Goals, and aims to achieve the leadership potential of young people by engaging them in purposeful and cross-cultural projects around the globe designed to impact the Sustainable Development Goals. That is done through raising awareness and educating youth about the SDGs, and providing them with practical volunteering opportunities that have a direct effect in achieving a target or more of the Global Goals.
United Nations Global Compact Initiative
This particular initiative focuses on the world of business; how corporations can contribute to sustainability. The UN Global Compact initiative calls for companies to align their strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals. The initiative provides a set of tools and resources, holds summits, and appoints pioneers that all contribute to raising awareness to businesses on sustainability as well as provide them with the appropriate opportunities to drive their corporate strategies towards advancing a set from the Global Goals.
GIRLS! Project Initiative
This initiative administered in the United States of America through an organization called ‘Schools Without Borders’ aims to empower girls in marginalized communities affected by trauma. Such empowerment and healing is done through educational support at different ecological levels. They ensure the delivery of books to the girls and reading workshops. This project is set to be completed in 2020 and will involve partners in Guinea and Liberia.
Ghana Climate Care Project Initiative
This project aims to educate, advocate, and offer practical adaptation activities in climate affected communities in the Accra-Ada area. That is through bringing different stakeholders and forces together with the community to combine resources, experiences, skills, and knowledge. Of the several activities: positive dialogue confronting climate change issues, coping strategies, live community performances, and workshop plans. All responses documented to be subject to follow-ups and reports for the authorities to partake action.
Our Oceans Challenge Initiative
This network headquartered in the Netherlands consists of influential companies committed to generating innovative business models that promote clean and healthy oceans through financial support and sharing expertise with entrepreneurs and start-ups. This is done through an online platform for scientists, entrepreneurs, experts and anyone with an interest for the issue to come together and share ideas that can later be implemented; the ideas are ‘liked’, discussed, and connected. An event is then held to share the outcomes and provide a networking opportunity to everyone interested, and then start-ups who took part in the challenge are then matched to corporate partners that would support the development of their ideas.
The saying, one hand cannot clap alone, is very relevant when it comes to talking about achieving the SDGs. It’s important that if we want to reach every target by 2030 that we do not work alone. The initiatives mentioned above are a few of so many that each take part in administering partnerships, compiling specialized networks, and raising collective awareness to ensure that everyone is involved so that no one is left behind.
What initiatives do you know of that you’ve taken an active role in?