Julián Rodríguez, líder juvenil que realizó un taller de “Juventud por los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible” en la Cumbre Mundial de Premios Nobel de Paz en Colombia.
Julián Rodríguez, youth leader who led a workshop on “Youth for the Sustainable Development Goals” at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Colombia. (UNDP Colombia, 2017)

Youth for the SDGs at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates

At the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Colombia, youth leader Julián Rodríguez together with Leymah Gbowee, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, led a workshop entitled “Youth for the Sustainable Development Goals” for 100 young Colombians and other youth from the region. The workshop was a replica of the skills training carried out as part of the project “Youth for the SDGs” developed by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to train young leaders in the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, a programme currently implemented in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru.

At the United Nations stand at the summit, UNV organised an activity related to the “Youth for the SDGs” project, during which young leaders attending the summit were invited to ‘adopt’ one of the Sustainable Development Goals and to indicate a specific course of action which would contribute to its achievement. The activity was well-attended and helped to raise awareness among young people about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; to give visibility to the project within the country; and to motivate many of the participants to sign up for the capacity training sessions that UNV carries out as part of the project throughout the country

The main objective of “Youth for the SDGs” is to train young leaders in the 2030 Agenda so that they can then replicate the training to other young people in their organizations. Upon completing the replica, UNV certifies these leaders as SDG trainers.

The training of young leaders also aims to strengthen and empower the processes of social monitoring which youth organisations carry out in both local and national contexts. This initiative hopes to have an impact on more than 4,500 young people throughout the country, a number which includes not only those trained as part of the programme but also those who take part in its replications.

To date, around 150 young people from more than 100 organisations with local and national reach have been trained in the cities of Bogotá and Cúcuta in Colombia. The young people who participated in these training sessions include volunteers from organisations such as TECHO, AIESEC, the International Red Cross, América Solidaria, and the Scout Association of Colombia, among others. They have even trained leaders for the “Volunteers for Peace” and Hagamos las Paces (Let’s Make Peace) projects by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The members of Hagamos las Paces pledged to replicate the knowledge and methodology used in the workshop among other young people in the region, thus complying with the main objective of the project: allowing young people to have a key role in the localisation of the 2030 Agenda on a national level, as well as allowing their contributions to the achievement of the SDGs to be highlighted.

In the coming weeks, “Youth for the SDGs” aims to reach another five regions of the country, calling upon those leaders and organisations interested in generating a real impact in local development.

Article translated from Spanish by UN Online Volunteer Eleanor Cruickshank.

Bogotá, Colombia