Press Release: Canadian Youth Head to United Nations for Sustainable Development Forum
July 10, 2018 – A group representing BC civil society may be one of the largest non-government delegations at the United Nations this summer. The BC Council for Global Cooperation (BCCIC) is travelling as a team with 21 young people plus other leaders from the development sector in BC. They are attending this year’s High Level Political Forum in New York, which is the international meeting where countries of the world evaluate their progress on achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. The youth are aiming to learn from global best practices and have their say in Canada’s sustainable development future.
With such a large delegation, BCCIC is showcasing that civil society in BC, and especially youth, are engaged with the Sustainable Development Goals. “We know there is leadership in British Columbia on sustainable development – our mapping shows over 2000 groups that are working on some aspect of the goals.” says Mike Simpson, Executive Director of BCCIC. The youth come from a variety of backgrounds and have been trained to integrate knowledge on the topic of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They will be holding meetings with officials and other delegates at the forum, attending side events, observing UN sessions to learn what’s happening globally, and preparing messaging to Canadians based on their learnings.
Of the youth delegation, 17 members are part of a transformational learning training program to engage with the Sustainable Development Goals and bring that knowledge to communities in BC. “The BCCIC program has allowed meaningful engagement with broad audiences of people who have diverse interests,” says Ciel Arbour-Boehme, of the experience so far, “This opportunity has fostered a strong foundation of meaningful representation, collaboration, consultation, and understanding of the interconnected nature of the SDGs.” The other young people attending with BCCIC have been deeply involved with the organization, supporting community engagements around the SDGs and helping to write the Canadian Civil Society shadow report entitled “Where Canada Stands, Vol. 2” that BCCIC is presenting this year.
The youth have found the mandate of the Sustainable Development Goals to be an important one for the world they want to shape. They are bringing their perspectives to the gathering to reinforce what they find important in achieving global sustainability – these include ideas about “leaving no one behind,” ensuring accountability with implementation, and strengthening systems thinking to address problems in an integrated way.
The youth will be in New York from July 14-18, and are available for interviews before, during, and after the High-Level Political Forum.
BCCIC Youth Delegate