Youth must be engaged to drive the SDGs

Harare, 27 January 2017 - “It is important to mobilize the voices of the youths who should play an active role in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Mr. Bishow Parajuli, UN Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe has said.

Mr. Parajuli made the remarks at Junior Chamber International’s (JCI) “2017 Go4Gold Opening Night” ceremony held at the Meikles Hotel last Friday.IMG_2354_0_0.jpg

JCI seeks to empower young people for positive change in the communities and the country at large.

The UN supporting Zimbabwe for the overall success of the SDGs and this depends on youth engagement because they have the capacity to identify and challenge existing power structures and barriers to change, and to expose contradictions and biases as well as the power to act and mobilize others.

Mr. Parajuli said that cognizant of the power of youth, the United Nations in Zimbabwe in 2016 alone has so far reached over 30,000 Zimbabwean youth on SDGs advocacy though public lectures, roundtable discussions, providing training of trainers and through the Model UN.

Through the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework, the UN with generous support from donors has been delivering development support worth $400 million per year in the areas of Food and Nutrition; Social Services; HIV and AIDS; Poverty Reduction; Governance and human rights, and Gender Equality.

In addition to the United Nations in Zimbabwe support to development programmes, in response to the El Nino induced severe drought that hit the country, it has put together a humanitarian response plan with a total requirement of $352 million for April 2016 – March 2017. Of the total requirement with the generous support from development and humanitarian partners, over $215 million has been committed to support 3.1 million drought affected population at the peak of the hunger season.