Nairobi, 20 January 2022 -- Adopted in 2015 by UN Member States as a blueprint for shared peace and prosperity, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognises young people as the driving force for change globally.

According to UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), there are approximately 1.2 billion youth 15-24 years of age. Young people are not passively waiting for change to happen; they are taking matters into their own hands at the local, national, and international level.

Youth 2030 Cities, a project supported by UN-Habitat in partnership with Fondation Botnar’s Healthy Cities for Adolescents Program (HCA), seeks to strengthen youth action through increasing young people’s capacity to engage at the local level. Working with youth in six countries (Ghana, Senegal, Ecuador, Colombia India, and Vietnam), the partners are undertaking training and developing tools to identify and facilitate activities related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In Ecuador, Youth 2030 has partnered with Otavalango, a local Indigenous organisation seeking to share, preserve, and rescue the Kechuwa culture, whose language and traditions are under threat.

Otavalango hosted Youth 2030 workshops that allowed youth to learn more about the role of UN in addressing community and local level development agendas and how the SDGs relate to Indigenous peoples.

‘’For me, this training workshop was very important because it allowed me to have a much broader perspective on what the United Nations is, how it is governed and run and in what way they support different community projects,’’ said Ángeles Conejo, a participant.

‘The main goal that caught my attention is SDG 4, which is quality education, where I, on my own and through my organization, will promote quality education through workshops on our culture and community and raise awareness amongst children and young people in schools and social and cultural settings,” added another participant, Jhonatan Cacuango.

“Youth 2030 also held events in Senegal. On the 17th and 18th of December, young people from the Cities of Thiès and Accra explored how their ongoing HCA activities address the SDGs, particularly relevant in the context of their communities.

Youth 2030 will hold fora in each of the six countries to bring young women and men together to design, review, and finally adopt six National DeclarACTIONs that will represent the opinions and commitments of youth on issues related to sustainable urbanization.

These six DeclarACTIONS will be combined into a Global DeclarACTION on Youth and Sustainable Urbanization which will be debated further and adopted at the World Urban Forum in Katowice, Poland, in June during the World Urban Youth Assembly.

Youth 2030 will also create several tech tools that will support young people in their co-creation of a more sustainable future of their communities. For example, the Youth 2030 Scorecard will enable users to track their and their communities progress towards attaining the SDGs.

A further output is a collection of inspiring projects and initiatives designed and implemented by and with young people that contribute to well-being of their cities and communities. People will be able to submit their initiative until March 31st at this link.

More information about the project can be found on the UN-Habitat Youth website.