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Young People in China Leading the Charge on the Sustainable Development Goals - 2020 International Youth Day Dialogue on Youth Engagement for Global Action

Beijing, 12 August 2020 – In celebration of International Youth Day, an event hosted by the United Nations in China together with Xinhua News Agency’s Voices in China programme and Tencent broadcasts today, titled the “2020 International Youth Day Dialogue”. Organized as a key part of UN China’s work towards the UN75 initiative, the dialogue invited six Chinese Youth Advocates for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to share their experience in an open forum and discuss their vision for a sustainable future. This dialogue seeks to promote broader youth participation in China on the achievement of the SDGs adopted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

                            

Since its first commemoration in 2000, International Youth Day has sought to champion the unique voices, issues and action of young people, as well as call for their inclusion in the global decision-making process. Today’s dialogue discussed the theme of this year’s International Youth Day, “Youth Engagement for Global Action”, which seeks to highlight how the engagement of young people can occur at the local, national and global level in order to drive lasting change. In his statement for International Youth Day, Secretary-General António Guterres said, “realizing the promise of this generation means investing far more in young people’s inclusion, participation, organizations and initiatives.”

 

In 2020, the UN marks its 75th anniversary in a time where the lives of young people in China and across the world continue to be upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. With only ten years remaining to make the 2030 Agenda reality, the UN75 initiative was launched to build the world’s biggest conversation on these global challenges and promote greater international cooperation. Listening to the voices of all during such challenging times has required greater online engagement of youth audiences and has been a key global priority for UN75. For its part, UN China has undertaken several efforts to involve the citizens of China in this global conversation, including the digital promotion of the one-minute survey found at

 

Since pre-launched in May, a series of innovative discussions were hosted by 12 UN entities in China with young people as part of UN75 in the “Chinese Youth Dialogue on the Future”. These dialogues saw selected youth representatives showcase their creativity and ingenuity in designing solutions to address the world’s challenges and interacting with UN representatives and national experts and key opinion leaders. The diverse array of issues and formats featured include a debate on youth innovation and entrepreneurship, a poetry contest on the need for comprehensive sexuality education, and the presentation of proposals that reduce food waste and explore food sustainability. Participating UN entities in China include IFAD, ILO, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNEP, UNFPA, UN-Habitat, UNICEF, UNOSSC, UNV, UN Women and WFP. The “2020 International Youth Day Dialogue” is the culmination of these efforts and sees UN China building on these successes, by partnering with young individuals who are innovators in their fields to share their perspectives on the SDGs for an event that will be seen in the millions, with the hope to inspire a new generation of young leaders.

                               

During the event, 19-year-old Zhao Chen, who participated in the “Chinese Youth Dialogue on the Future”, spoke from his own experience to highlight the everyday difficulties faced by more than 17 million visually impaired people in China. He noted that the increasing availability of accessibility-based technologies warms his outlook on the future and hoped that one day with the greater use of tech for good, he and others would no longer feel or be “physically challenged”.

 

Participating Youth Advocates who also discussed their ideas at the dialogue include naval marine Song Xi, government official Jin Dafu, author Yuan Ye, actor Yu Haoming and singer Curley Gao. Ms Gao also performed towards the conclusion of the event with a SDG-themed song titled “2030, I Want to Tell You”.

                               

“The SDGs remain a significant priority for the UN and for the many brilliant young people here with us today who will inherit the planet of tomorrow. I’m glad to see Xinhua News Agency and Tencent join hands with the UN in China, to champion the unique voices of young people on the SDGs.”, stated Dr. Babatunde Ahonsi, interim UN Resident Coordinator in China.

 

 "We are delighted to join hands with the United Nations in China in providing a stage for Chinese youth to express their ideas to the world. On 4 May the Chinese Youth Day, we invited all Chinese youth aged 15-24 to submit their initiatives - 700,000 applications and 10,361 initiatives were received within just one month. I hope to see these new ideas aiming at solving global issues will attract more attention and translate into concrete actions." said Li Hang, General Manager of Corporate Marketing and Public Relations of Tencent and Vice Chairman of the Tencent Youth Development Committee.

 

Video of the “2020 International Youth Day Dialogue” will be jointly released by Xinhua News Agency’s “Voices in China” and Lichun Studio of Tencent News, and be available on the Xinhua News Agency app, its website, Weibo and other platforms as well as on Tencent Video and Tencent News.

 

 

 

For further information, please contact: 

 

Ms. Louise Xi Li, Head of Communications, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in China

Tel +8610-85320725, Email: xi.li@one.un.org

 

Ms. Lin Wen, Senior Brand Manager of Corporate Marketing and Public Relations of Tencent

Tel+ 86755-86013388Email: ninawlin@tencent.com


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