Youth focuses on Sustainable Development Goals |10 December 2016
A conference on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was held yesterday to officially launch the Youth Festival.
Present at the conference, held at the International Conference Centre of Seychelles (ICCS), were the Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture Idith Alexander, principal secretary (PS) for youth Fabien Palmyre, principal secretaries, special advisors, the Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC) chief executive (CEO) Alvin Laurence among youth and other distinguished guests.
In his keynote address Mr Laurence said in the past leaders have not always given youth its rightful place but towards the new millennium leaders have been pushing towards their international agenda to accomplish the millennium goals.
“Many of them came to realise that they have not been able to accomplish it because they left aside the young people. This may not have been the case here in Seychelles as it is particularly through the consultation with the youth that we have accomplished almost all of our millennium goals,” he said.
He urged the youth not to be afraid if SDGs is a new concept for them as they have such an important say to add to it to make it even better.
Short remarks were also made by international speaker Hezha Hassan Mohammed Khan, who is a social entrepreneur and international consultant for organisations and one of the few people in Northern Iraq that works on introducing the SDGs of the United Nations to the youth and young professionals.
She said if these goals are achieved it’s supposed to transform lives into better and one cannot worry about one of the goals and ignore any other as they are integrated.
“They are not only for government, nor NGOs or private sectors; everyone is called to take an action
Why youth and young professionals? Because today’s generation of youth is the largest the world has ever seen, with half of the world under the age of 30 and more than 80% of those coming from developing countries. It is our responsibility to protect the planet and take the lead, we are not just the leaders of tomorrow, we are the leaders of today,” she said.
She said we have to ensure that we do not leave a planet threatened with challenges for the generations to come and through social entrepreneurship we can come up with initiatives and solutions to face the challenges our planet is suffering from.
A presentation was also led by Anna Rose Clarisse on her experience as a UN Youth for Seychelles, SDG achievements in Seychelles and the worldwide commitment to SDGs.
Following the opening ceremony discussions were held in various SDG based groups including economic, social, environment, civic engagement partnership health and health.
Each group then presented the recommendations received from the youth to take into account when addressing these goals.
The activities for this festival includes entrepreneurship fair, sports, prize giving ceremonies, gala nights, shows and other recreational activities.
The entrepreneurship fair is taking place in the ICCS car park.