The United Nations has launched a new initiative to recognize exceptional young people who are leaders in the effort to end poverty, combat climate change and reduce inequalities. Spear-headed by the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the UN Young Leaders Initiative will recognize on an annual basis 17 young leaders who are driving change to help realize the Sustainable Development Goals.
This September, the United Nations will announce the inaugural class of the Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals – 17 young change-makers whose leadership is catalyzing the achievement of the Goals.
From food to fashion to finance, the Young Leaders will come from many different backgrounds, represent every region in the world and help activate millions of young people in support of the Goals.
Convened by the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, these Young Leaders will be recognized for their leadership and contribution to a more sustainable world. The Young Leaders will come together as a community to support efforts to engage young people in the realization of the SDGs both through strategic opportunities with the UN and through their existing initiatives, platforms and networks. Young Leaders will be expected to actively support one or more of the following objectives:
- Advocate for the Goals, in ways most accessible and relatable to young people across different contexts;
- Promote innovative ways of engaging their audiences and peers in the advocacy and realization of the Goals;
- Contribute to a brain trust of young leaders supporting the UN and partners for key moments and initiatives related to the Goals.
Each year, a new “Class” will be nominated through an open call for nominations and assessed according to robust selection criteria by a diverse selection committee.
Eligibility requirements to be a Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals
Nominees must be between 18 and 30 years old (as of August 12, 2016).
Successful candidates will be selected based on:
- Their demonstrated achievements in promoting and advancing sustainable development;
- The ability to command an audience, influence their contemporaries and inspire their constituents;
- Their personal influence within their respective fields and reputation for inclusive and innovative leadership;
- Their demonstrated integrity, commitment to the SDGs and core values of the UN.
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