Youth are the Agents of Change


“Youth are the agents of change” was the main message of Ban Ki-Moon at the United Nations Youth delegate programme (UNYDP) launch at Iveagh House/Department of Foreign Affairs on the 26th Of May 2015. While the main focus of the event was the new UNYDP for Ireland, the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were also discussed focusing on the substantial role that young people will play in the future success of these goals over the next 15 years. Along with the UNYDP launch Ireland will also play an important role in chairing negotiations of the SDGs along with Kenya at the UN in New York, adding to the poignancy of the event.

Minister for development and Trade, Sean Sherlock was in attendance and touched on both the global challenges faced by young people and the importance of the UNYDP, like Ban Ki-moon he also expressed the importance of youth and their connection with the wider world. Ban Ki-moon, being so passionate about youth issues, has made it one of his top 5 priorities, even enlisting a special envoy on youth. He is aware of how youth have been disproportionally effected by the economic downturn in terms of both youth unemployment and violence. He is aware of Ireland’s great contribution to in helping the world become a more equal and sustainable place focusing on the recently passed Marriage equality referendum and the presidential age referendum. Expressing delight and disappointment at the results. While the SDGs were the main topic of the event youth issues were highlighted throughout. “Promise not peril” was stressed as it is promised that youth unemployment will be tackled with decent jobs and opportunities being of the utmost importance. A similar message to that of the Young Global Advocates at Challenging the Crisis.

Evanna Lynch and Donnacha O’Callaghan were also representing UNICEF Ireland as Ambassadors sharing their experiences, speaking of the vast inequalities and the great injustices that they have witnessed during their travels. Highlighting how similar children are and that young people around the world have the same dreams no matter where they are from.

Rebecca Amet is a Young Global advocate with Challenging the Crisis. Rebecca attended the event on behalf of Challenging the Crisis Ireland.