The Tshwane Hub Global Shapers in partnership with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Pretoria hosted a Sustainable Development Goals Youth Forum at the UNIC library on the 15th of May 2018, to enable the youth to have access to information that will equip them with knowledge regarding their role in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 Agenda. The aim was to help young people engage at the grassroots level in communicating the SDG goals to a wider society and to raise more awareness of the 17’ SDG’s
The forum was a project initiative of Tshwane Shaper Manuel T. Adriano, with the guidance and assistance of UNIC Pretoria. The panel consisted of United Nations SDG Technical Advisor (South Africa) Msingathi Sipuka, Tshwane Hub Incoming Curator Rivonia Pillay and AIESEC representatives Miguel Luis Oliveira and Jose Carlos.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations. The SDGs cover a broad range of social, environmental and economic development issues. These include poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanization, environment and social justice.
The Forum brought together over 70 young people and placed critical emphasis on youth participation in attaining these goals, which in themselves seek to answer a lot of, socio-political and economic issues that the youth face on a daily basis. Pertinent questions that arose from the panel discussion had to deal with the incentives for youth to get involved in the pursuit of these goals. This then raised the issue of the localization of these goals from an international and governmental level down to the ground level where young people can take certain actions in pursuit of the SDGs.
Mr Msingathi Sipuka, encouraged youth in the audience to work towards achieving sustainable development goals by getting involved in civil society groups through which they can push the agenda for sustainable development. He said that youth should be motivated by everyday challenges like unemployment, poor healthcare and the fight for quality education in their pursuit of the SDGs. He also conveyed the importance for youth groups to collaborate so that there is a clear and string message conveyed by all youth. The Tshwane Hub looks forward to hosting more events around the SDGs and becoming a stronger agent for change.