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    Mingling with the next generation of ambassadors

    By Sammy Witt

    August 14, 2017

    This week I attended the Youth Assembly at the United Nations. Having participated in the Assembly last year, I knew what to expect. The audience is made up of entrepreneurs, NGO Reps and a whole bunch of late high school students and college kids who want to discover what the backstage of world politics looks like from the inside. (Spoiler alert: they won’t find out in those 3 days.)

    The event intends to provide these young adults (ages 16-28) an idea of how different parts of the UN work, inspire them (they’re really big on this one) and offer a forum to discuss how to make the world a better place. The Youth Assembly with representatives drawn from every corner of the Earth consists of two groups: those who are really excited about all of this stuff, and those who constantly chatter.
    Enthusiastic participants still believe that a better world is not only possible but likely! Their constant mantra recites that all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can and will be reached by 2030! Many of them invest a great deal of effort in attempting to offer insightful, interesting statements whenever they get a chance to. This makes some discussions difficult because their remarks don't always relate to the actual conversation…
    The remaining Youth Assembly members really just babble. You can hear the next Secretary General of Amnesty International mumble: “What are they even doing here?” while he walks by with his squad of fellow future human rights lawyers.
    Since not everyone may be familiar with SDGs, here's a brief explanation: Currently, the majority of NGOs at the UN focus their work on 17 measurable Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are supposed to be reached by 2030 and that were agreed upon in 2015. Unlike the Millennium Development Goals, the SDGs have very concrete indicators, 169 to be precise.  Goals include ending gender inequality, promoting peace, reducing inequality amongst nations, ending poverty and hunger, and fighting global warming. More information about these goals can be found at the Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge Platform.
    While writing from the UN, these SDGs will outline my future blog posts.


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