UN engages youth on Sustainable Development Goals

WINDHOEK: About 40 learners from ten different schools in Katutura in Grade 8 to 12, appreciated a ‘Breakfast with the UN’ hosted at the United Nations (UN) in Namibia on Thursday.

The platform was the first of many opportunities to gauge the views of the youth on the recently launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to gather ideas on how to push the development agenda in Namibia.

The event took place at the UN House in Klein Windhoek, where the learners from the Physically Active Youth (PAY) Namibia, a community-based project focusing on the healthy development of young people in low-income communities participated.

Insights and questions from the youth were well structured and demonstrated the interest of Namibian youth in contributing to the global conversation on the SDGs, and moreover, how these can be translated into actionable goals in Namibia. The youth expressed a strong interest in sharing their ideas with the UN on energy, hunger, poverty and the sustainable use of land and the sea.

Young participants were asked how the UN could promote the SDGs among them in Namibia, to which they presented a host of innovative proposals, such as meetings, school visits, social media and radio and television, among others.

UN Resident Coordinator Anita Kiki Gbeho introduced the foundation of the UN, as well as the transition of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This was followed by a presentation by Welda Mouton from the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), focusing on SDGs, with an interactive discussion on how Namibian youth can relate and contribute to the new global goals.

The hearty breakfast that followed allowed the youth to interact with UN staff and the media. The platform was described as the first of many opportunities to solicit insights and share global goals. The key message to the youth in Namibia was to take action and make the goals their own.