UAE Government launches SDG Young Leaders Programme

DUBAI, The UAE government today launched the “SDG Young Leaders Programme”, a national initiative aimed at boosting UAE youth participation in Sustainability initiatives.

The programme designed and managed by the Secretariat of the National Committee on SDGs, is aimed to provide youth with the knowledge, experience and skills necessary to participate effectively in supporting and leading national and international initiative and programmes to achieve global sustainable development goals and build a better more sustainable future.

The programme is conducted in a strategic partnership with the CSR UAE, The Federal Youth Authority as well as the Government Leadership Programme at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The unveiling of the new programme took place during Global Goals Week at Expo 2020 Dubai, in the presence of Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Vice Chairman of the Arab Youth Centre; Abdullah Nasser Lootah, Director-General of the UAE Prime Minister’s Office, and Vice Chairman of the National Committee on SDGs; as well as Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Director-General of Dubai Media Office, Vice President of the Emirates Council for Gender Balance and Chairperson of the Global Council on SDG 5.

Among the attendees were, Dr. Yasir Al Naqbi, Assistant Director-General of Government Leadership and Capacity at the Prime Minister’s Office in the Ministry of Cabinets affairs; Saeed Al Nazari, Director-General of the Federal Youth Authority; Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth; Sonia Ben Jaafar, Chief Executive Officer at Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education and Chairperson to Global Councils on SDGs; Mahmoud Mohieldin, Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and United Nations Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda; Ibrahim Al Zu’bi, Chief Sustainability Officer at Majid Al Futtain and Chairperson of the Global Council on SDG 10; and Brighton Kaoma, Global Director of SDSN Youth.

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairwoman of the National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, said that the UAE has become a global incubator for innovative models in empowering youth and their participation in the development process. She added that empowering youth embodies the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership that believes in their capabilities and energy.

Al Hashemy further stressed that “the UAE is keen on expanding the role of youth and upskilling them to tackle future trends, and providing them with the tools and means that support their role in building our nation and our transformation into a knowledge-based and sustainable economy”.

On his part, Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of CSR UAE, stated that the launch of the ambitious national plans, future development projects and the new economic agenda for the next fifty years in empowering youth is more important than any time before. He added that the UAE is making huge efforts in enhancing their role to make a real difference and pushing towards developing a new, more resilient and sustainable economy.

Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrouei said that youth are the renewable energy to generate innovative ideas and reach solutions to meet future challenges. “That is why the UAE leadership is constantly keen to support and motivate young people to take care of the sustainability agenda nationally and globally.”

She noted that youth are keen to play an active role in national efforts to achieve sustainability and serve their nations.

On his part, Abdullah Nasser Lootah said, “The Young Leaders Programme for the Sustainable Development Goals embodies the commitment of the UAE government to accelerate the implementation of the goals. H.E. added that launching the programme comes in line with the nation’s directions on empowering the youth and providing them with knowledge and expertise to leverage their energy and creative potential in creating innovative solutions to global challenges, thus contributing to building a better world for everyone.”

Mona Ghanem Al Marri noted that the programme aims to effectively involve the youth in national platforms related to the Sustainable Development Goals, build youth capacities and engage them in achieving the 17 global goals. Al-Marri also reiterated that the focus on media to advance the implementation of the SDGs, can support efforts in increase awareness, building partnerships and exchanging knowledge, as media plays a major part in highlighting national and global priorities and making them accessible and interesting for people, including topics such as gender balance, climate change, economic growth, peace and justice.

“I am encouraged by the prospect that this programme provides opportunities for decision-makers to engage with partners from across institutions in the UAE at national and regional levels, to ultimately help young change makers steer us onto a more actionable path. There is no better investment a country can make than in the capacities and potential of its young people,” said Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in her keynote remarks at the launch ceremony.

Upon the launch of the programme, members of the UAE National Committee on SDGs will start working close with UAE youth on various projects, programmes and initiatives. What makes this programme unique is the alignment with the UN’s “Decade of Action” call, signaling the importance of focusing on implementing and accelerating impact.

The programme will also focus on capacity building as a priority of the UAE’s national SDG implementation journey, the National Committee on SDGs will further announce more youth driven programmes to ensure inclusive capacity development and support to the future decision makers.

The SDG Young Leaders Programme is a continuation of the Youth Advisory Council on SDGs in its second term, as it will expand its outreach by creating various youth taskforces that focus on the different elements of the SDG file and the UAE objectives towards the fulfilment of the goals locally and globally.

Source: Emirates News Agency

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