The United Nations, on Friday, recognized 17 young advocates for sustainable development, who are leading efforts to combat some of the world’s most pressing challenges and inspiring the younger generation for a better future for all.
The Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent the diverse voices of youth from every region of the world, and are collectively responsible for activating millions of young people in support of the SDGs.
According to Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, amid unprecedented times, the 2020 Class are a “clear example” of how the youth are leading the way in shaping a more sustainable and inclusive future for all.
”Despite being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, young people around the world continue to demonstrate immense resilience, resourcefulness and leadership in finding innovative solutions to recover better and achieve the SDGs”, she said.
The group of 17 will come together as a community to support efforts to engage young people in the realization of the SDGs both through strategic opportunities with the UN and through their existing initiatives, platforms and networks, according to the Youth Envoy’s office.
The 17 are announced every two years by the Envoy.
The 2020 Class
Aged between 18 and 29, they hail from across the globe – coming from Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Ireland, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Turkey, Uganda, and the United States.
One of the Young Leaders, Siena Castellon, 18 from Ireland, is an autism and neurodiversity advocate. She said that the platform will enable her to raise awareness of neurodiversity and the importance of recognizing, supporting and harnessing the overlooked strengths and talents of people who think differently and perceive the world differently.
Similarly, for 24-year-old Lester Philipp Vargas Angeles, from Peru, the Young Leaders is an opportunity to help millions of students learn more and faster with the support of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled virtual learning and help re-invent schools, universities and institutions.