The Executive Board of the Organization for International Development (OID) attended the Fifth Annual United Nations ECOSOC Youth Forum in New York on February 1-2. Designed to brainstorm methods for empowering youth in the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the Forum brought together global youth delegates who represented universities, NGOs, government agencies, private sector institutions, and multilateral development organizations.
The Forum was lead by the United Nations Special Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, who in his opening address spoke of the need to recognize that youth are “not just the future, but the present”. A variety of guest speakers and developers spoke at the forum, all seeming to focus on how youth can be encouraged to join in the implementation of the SDGs and how they can contribute their own unique skills to encourage a more innovative, energetic, and inclusive approach to development.
Notable guest speakers throughout the Forum included Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labor Organization, who launched the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth at the forum. The keynote address on February 1 was given by Samar Mezghanni, a Tunisian children’s writer and activist, who warned of the dangers of dismissing the valuable contributions children can make to the world around them.
Throughout the Forum, the OID board members were able to participate in various breakout forums concentrating on subject areas of Gender, Youth Unemployment, and the Environment.