Young People in Thought Leadership Spaces: HLPF 2019

31 Jul 19
Around the world USA


From 9 - 18 July 2019, several young leaders from Restless Development’s worldwide network convened in New York City for the High Level Political Forum (HLPF)—the UN’s primary platform to address sustainable development at the global level.

Placed right in the center of discussions surrounding international progress on the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Youth Think Tank researchers (Martin Masiya from Malawi, and Angela Kileo from Tanzania) along with Youth Accountability Advocates (Ritu Jain from India, and Amina Mahia from Tanzania) attended several events and focus groups over the course of the conference.

As young people who don’t always get the chance to directly interact with the delegations of various countries and UN agencies, our youth delegates took the opportunity to raise their voices in these thought leadership spaces. They not only learned a great deal from the diverse global perspectives of the other people attending the events, but also called on governments and international organizations to be more inclusive of youth populations as they make decisions regarding the SDGs.

“I’m here to represent the voice of young people from my home country.”
—Amina Mahia, Tanzania

Our delegates spoke about their experiences and opinions across multiple platforms—from the seven interviews that UN News conducted with our YAAs and YTTs in various languages, to the Facebook Live event we held with young people that garnered 14k views.


Ritu and other young advocates from around the world speaking about the youth perspective on sustainable development during Restless Development’s Facebook Live event.

As the conference came to a close, our delegates looked to the future, interested in critically examining how research reports and national briefs prepared at the global level actually impact people in their communities. As Angela so eloquently stated, “The ideal situation would be to have all Youth Think Tank researchers reach out to policy makers and the government, sharing national briefs of both the research reports [we created]. We are more likely to get a response from the government if the research is country-specific and it will make a bigger impact.”


Our Youth Think Tank members invigorated after participating in a forum for World Youth Skills Day.

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