MPs, Lords and government officials joined young people at the UK Parliament's House of Lords last night for an evening of speeches and discussion about the lead role young people are already playing to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals are ambitious global goals to end poverty, inequality and climate change and they coincide with an era of Peak Youth, the largest generation of young people in history. Representing 1.8 billion of the world population, young people will be essential to ensuring the success of the Goals and to making sure that the political promises of 2015 are kept. A photo exhibition, hosted by young people, illustrated how young people are already leading the delivery of the UN’s Goals, followed by speeches centred on why and how young people still have a role to play in achieving them.
The event was co-hosted by The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Sustainable Development Goals and Restless Development, with support from BOND.
APPG chair Lord Jack McConnell and Department for International Development Minister Rory Stewart MP OBE opened proceedings.
Nathalia Salamanca, a Young Global Researcher with the Case for Space initiative, spoke about her research with demobilised child soldiers in Colombia:
If we only see young people as threats or victims, we won’t be open to learn from their strengths and ideas. We don’t need to have more experts on young people, we need to use the expertise young people have more. - Nathalia Salamanca
Keya Khandaker spoke about her campaign as an Accountability Advocate with 18 other young people across the world using data-driven accountability to keep the promises of the Global Goals - hear more from Keya on her experience at the event in her We Are Restless blog.
If we want the SDGs to provide some answers to the biggest challenges our world faces, then we need to have young people - here in the UK as well as Richard in Ghana - asking those tough questions. - Keya Khandaker