UN-Habitat’s Youth Advisory Board Responds to Executive Director’s Report

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6 June 2023, Nairobi. – UN-Habitat has long been a champion of sustainable urban development. Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, released a groundbreaking report at the UN-Habitat Assembly being held in Nairobi, Kenya, titled “A Sustainable Urban Future Through Inclusive and Effective Multilateralism: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Times Of Global Crises.” This report outlined strategies and recommendations to address the challenges faced by cities and human settlements worldwide.

As the voice of the future, the UN-Habitat Youth Advisory Board eagerly examined the Executive Director’s report. Comprised of passionate and diverse young individuals, the board recognized the report’s significance in shaping the sustainable development agenda. They sought to contribute their unique perspectives and insights to the global dialogue on urban challenges.

Leah Namugerwa, an interim member of the Youth Advisory Board, was selected to represent the collective voice of her peers. Leah, a passionate advocate for climate action, delivered a powerful speech at the Second Global Stakeholders Forum. Speaking before an audience of global stakeholders, policymakers, and experts, Leah acknowledged the report’s importance and emphasized the need for youth inclusion in decision-making processes.

“We are not just the beneficiaries of change; we are the agents of change. Our energy, passion, and innovative ideas can drive positive transformation in our cities and human settlements.” stated Leah.

Recognizing the urgency of climate change, Leah called for collective action, saying, “We must act now to protect our planet and secure a sustainable future. Sustainable cities must prioritize renewable energy, green infrastructure, and environmentally conscious practices. Young people must lead the charge and advocate for sustainable urban development.”

Leah emphasized the significance of inclusive and safe spaces, stating, “Cities should be places where everyone can thrive and contribute. We must ensure access to quality education, healthcare, housing, and cultural facilities for all individuals, regardless of their background or identity. Inclusivity is key to building resilient and harmonious communities.”

Leah’s passionate speech resonated deeply with the audience, inspiring a renewed commitment to youth-led initiatives and partnerships. UN-Habitat and its partners recognized the power of youth voices and pledged their support for the Youth Advisory Board’s vision. This event marked a turning point, as stakeholders acknowledged the need to amplify youth engagement and integrate their perspectives into policy-making processes.

UN-Habitat Youth Advisory Board’s response to the Executive Director’s report can serve as a rallying cry for transformative change. With their unwavering determination, the young leaders envisioned a future where sustainable urban development, social inclusivity, and climate action converge. Stakeholders committed to working together to create a sustainable and equitable urban future, ensuring that the voices of youth are not only heard but also actively involved in shaping our world.

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