International Youth Day – August 12

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Earlier this week we celebrated International Youth Day. The theme of this year’s Day was transforming education. Education is considered a ‘development multiplier’ as it plays a pivotal role in accelerating progress across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population.

Look closer at the status of both youth and education SDGs.

At the recent High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF) which took place at the United Nations in New York City, SDG 4 was looked at in depth, in particular progress on the targets set within the goal. Several international reports were released outlining our current status of the goals.

The theme for this year’s World Youth Report is “Youth and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The Report considers the role the 2030 Agenda can play in enhancing youth development efforts and examines how evidence-based youth policies can help accelerate youth-related objectives. It explores the critical role young people have in the implementation of sustainable development efforts at all levels. The active engagement of youth in sustainable development efforts is central to achieving sustainable, inclusive and stable societies by the target date, and to averting the worst threats and challenges to sustainable development, including the impacts of climate change, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, conflict, and migration. While all the Sustainable Development Goals are critical to youth development, this Report focuses primarily on the areas of education and employment, underlining the realization of targets under these Goals as fundamental to overall youth development.

UNESCO published a report, Beyond Commitments: How countries implement SDG4, based on an analysis of a questionnaire sent to 72 governments. The report shows the different ways that countries have taken on the challenge of implementing SDG 4 at the national level and showcases good practices from countries. UNESCO also released a six-part cartoon highlighting the links and synergies between education and many of the other sustainable development goals. Entitle Let’s work together – Education has a key role in helping achieve the SDGs, it focuses on the importance of all sectors working together to achieve their aims. The 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report, released earlier this year, focuses on the theme of migration and displacement. It presents evidence on the implications of different types of migration and displacement for education systems but also the impact that reforming education curricula and approaches to pedagogy and teacher preparation can have on addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by migration and displacement. It gives voice to experiences in host and home communities.

The 2019 Sustainable Development Goals Report was also released. This progress reports provide an overview of the where we stand on the 17 SDG.  The report uses the latest available data to track global progress of the 17 goals with infographics, and presents an in-depth analysis of selected indicators for each goal. It highlights challenges and identifies many areas that need urgent collective attention to realize the 2030 Agenda’s far reaching vision. Regional and/or subregional analyses are presented to the extent possible.

The latest Financing for Sustainable Development report warns that mobilizing sufficient financing remains a major challenge in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Despite signs of progress, investments that are critical to achieving the SDGs remain underfunded and parts of the multilateral system are under strain. It recommends that the international community should use this opportunity to reshape both national and international financial systems in line with sustainable development.

The World Public Sector Report 2019 was also launched at the HLPF. Although not directly focused on youth or education, appropriate youth and education policies will not happen without a strong public sector. The Report looks at national-level developments in relation to several concepts highlighted in the targets of Goal 16, which are viewed as institutional principles: access to information, transparency, accountability, anti-corruption, inclusiveness of decision-making processes, and non-discrimination.

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