”Involve Youth Or They Will Leave You Behind To Achieve the SDGs” – Joshua Alade

The Nigerian Youth Sustainable Development Goals Project Coordinator, Joshua Alade gave the keynote address at the fourth edition of the Lagos Model United Nations held at the University of Lagos, Nigeria.

The three days event with the theme “The Future We Want: Youth Participation in the Achievement of the 2030 Agenda” had over two hundred delegates from different higher institutions across Africa.

Speaking on the topic: Our World, Our Future, Joshua Alade encourage the participants to make a conscious effort towards meaningful participation in the collective delivery of the 2030 Agenda.

“2030 is about ten years away, a decade for us as young people to pressure world leaders to keep to the Paris Agreement and deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals”, Joshua said. “It is important that as a young person that you take interest in advocating for a better world because the future is about you and demanding the implementation of the right policies that favour you is a must’’ Joshua reiterated.

In Nigeria and in most countries across Africa, young people are often left out of the decision table which leaves them out when decisions about their future are being discussed. The Sustainable Development Goals which is a set of seventeen goals with 169 targets to end global poverty, achieve quality education and decent jobs for everyone, fight climate change, ensure sustainable peace while reducing inequalities and promoting innovation and industries.

According to the United Nations, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires the collective effort of the government, private sector, civil society, academia, and young people to ensure that we have a better world by the year 2030.

Speaking further in his address, Joshua Alade said

“The energy and talent of young people can contribute to the development of policy and programmes that support youth. If the government or community leaders resolve to tokenism, young people should use social media to demand action. Getting our hands dirty for the inclusive development of everyone is imperative. Start by telling your family and friends about the SDGs and encourage them to take individual actions that will provide a collective effort towards the achievement of the SDGs.”

The keynote speaker further shared about the need for higher institutions to prepare learners for the future of work by decolonizing education. Higher institutions should be providing curriculums that are designed with the future of the learners in mind.

Notable guests at the opening ceremony of the Lagos Model United Nations were the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe, FAS, the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Ige Bolodeku and the Staff Adviser, Dr. Kemi Omotubora.

The delegates during the three days event deliberated on solutions to challenges they face in their immediate environment while participating in stimulating sessions akin to the United Nations General Assembly. The delegates will discuss policies and learn how to make decisions that will be in the interest of every country of the world.