The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages the Member States to develop ambitious responses to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Countries are encouraged to integrate the SDGs into their national development strategies and plans while taking into account their respective levels of development and capacities. The United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/69/327 further emphasizes the growing need to strengthen public institutions and public services in support of sustainable development. The success of the SDGs depends on the coordination of implementation efforts through good public governance. Public governance can be defined as the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels. More governments seek to engage more of their stakeholders in decision making, moving from governing for people to governing with people. Policies that employ collaborative efforts and early engagement with the public have shown higher levels of impact and integration.
The overarching principle for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is leaving no one behind, engaging with the vulnerable and marginalized groups. Youth have traditionally been excluded from policy-making platforms and not adequately represented by their governments. The United Nations has long recognized that the imagination, ideals and energy of young people are vital for the continuing development of the societies in which they live.
Young people can be a force for development as well as drivers of innovation and progress at the local, national and global levels. They tend to be among the first to embrace new ideas and innovation and frequently recognize the global and local dynamics of development. Their roles in ensuring inclusiveness and equality in societies is central to the overall efforts of the global community .
Failure to foster youth development in an inclusive manner or fulfill young people’s rights can lead to inequalities with long-term economic and social consequences. For instance, it is recognized that the exclusion of young people from educational and employment opportunities negatively impacts their well-being and therefore damages social cohesion and stability.
Critical to the success of the 2030 Agenda are the role of young people in engaging with local and national government in delivering on policies and programmes on the ground; the role of public-private partnerships in driving the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including financing and harnessing technology for data collection and utilization; and the role of youth participation in informing equitable and diverse policy design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
The United Nations Project Office on Governance (UNPOG), part of the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), hosted the speech contests under the theme of ‘Youth engagement in SDG implementation’ in 2017 and 2018, in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and Safety, the Ministry of Environment, and the Incheon Metropolitan City Government.
This year, UNPOG’s youth programme has been further developed. Accordingly, in July 2019, UNPOG, the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD) and K-ECO co-organized the SDGs Youth Summer Camp in Incheon and discussed the SDGs and the role of the youth in achieving the goals.
To engage the young people in policy dialogue, the “3rd Youth Forum on SDG implementation” will take place in Incheon on 11 and 21 November 2019. The youth session on 21 November 2019 will be organized as a special event in parallel with the UN DESA Symposium which will be attended by the Under-Secretary-General of UN DESA, ministers, and senior decision-makers from Asia and the Pacific. Consequently, the youth forum will be a platform to enable the youth to raise their voices and exchanges ideas to accelerate SDG implementation whereby focusing on the roles of public governance.