United Nations launches 2nd Class of exceptional Young Leaders to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

The UN Young Leaders Programme is an initiative of the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and aims to celebrate and empower a group of Young Leaders to take upon a leadership role for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

23rd September 2018, UN Headquarters, New York, USA – The United Nations today launched the 2nd Class of Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during the Social Good Summit in New York.

“Three years ago, Member States committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, an ambitious agenda for people and planet. In order to achieve these ambitious Goals, we must engage today’s youth and empower a generation which knows about the Goals, cares about their success and actively works toward their realization”, said Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake – UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Youth.

The initiative aims to recognize exceptional young people who are leaders in the effort to end poverty, combat climate change and reduce inequalities.  Spearheaded by the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the UN Young Leaders Initiative recognizes on a bi-annual basis 17 young leaders who are driving change to help realize the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Young Leaders, representing five continents, seventeen countries, and their constituencies of millions of young people around the world, will work with the Envoy on Youth and the United Nations to help galvanize other young people around achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Click here to learn more about the Young Leaders, to read their profiles and learn about their commitments for the SDGs.

Without young people, the Sustainable Development Goals will not be achieved” – Amina Mohammed – UN Deputy Secretary-General

About the Sustainable Development Goals
On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at a historic UN Summit – officially came into force.  Over the next fifteen years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, we must all mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

About the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
In 2017, the UN Secretary-General’s appointed Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka as his Special Envoy on Youth and as the youngest senior official in the history of the organization. Ms. Wickramanayake mandate is to harmonize the UN system efforts on youth development, enhance the UN response to youth needs, advocate for the development needs and rights of young people, as well as to bring the work of the United Nations on youth closer to them. The Envoy on Youth also acts as the advisor to and the representative of the Secretary-General on youth-related matters.

About the Selection Process
The Young Leaders for the SDGs were selected through a multi-step rigorous process during which they were also evaluated by a high-level Selection Committee comprised of representatives from governments, the United Nations, civil society and the private sector.


Media contacts

For interviews, please contact:
Michael Imasua: youthenvoy@un.org

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