Hundreds of world dignitaries, civic, government and young leaders from different nations recently gathered virtually to discuss world issues at the Global Peace Youth Inter-Generational Dialogue event.
The international panel on Feb. 5, 2021, included conversations on equitable COVID -19 vaccine distribution, partnerships, climate change, healthcare and education. Featured speakers included United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed, as well as Global Peace Chair and member of the U.N.’s Secretary-General Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group, Graca Machel.
Moderator Okito Wedi talked over topics the organization refers to as “sustainable development goals (SDGs).” The panel featured speakers from Indonesia, Nigeria, Peru, Portugal and the United States.
When Wedi asked Nigerian speaker Chinenye Monde-Anumihe about the younger generation’s role in facing today’s global challenges, she referenced how the pandemic in Africa has become an added layer of crisis.
Yet, Monde-Anumihe shared the pandemic has exposed the leadership and resilience of African youth.
“Young people will play a critical role in a reset and fostering social transformation going forward,” she said.
Global Peace Chair Graca Machel shared her wisdom on how older generations can guide the youth. She remarked the young people are defining a different platform of multilateralism.
“You are defining who we, the people, are,” Machel said. “Express yourself and your brilliance, plan together and decide what you want to do.”
The forum formed from a dialogue between youth from 100 global cities. Prior to the panel, attendees were polled on the SDG’s they deemed most important. The majority voted that reducing inequality, obtaining a quality education, eradicating poverty and promoting peace, matter the most.
Forum co-host, Sofia Moschin of Italy, highlighted how having a quality education has long-term benefits.
“If we’re able to guarantee a quality education on the grassroots [level], we’ll have great professions in future years and highly skilled people who will take a leading role,” Moschin said.
Co-host, Javaughn Keys of Jamaica, spoke on how everyone can do their part to achieve their goals.
“The reality is, in our own spaces across the world, we are playing a part towards achieving the [SDG’s’] and all other global goals so we can develop the world we want to see,” remarked Keys. “Don’t take for granted what you do in your own spaces because it’s all sum totals toward achieving a better world.”
Global Peace President Vasu Gounden stated the organization was born out of an “increasingly divided world” due to fear, ignorance and prejudice.
“We have to stand and ask what moral compass are we using to build bonds instead of building ventilators,” Gounden said. “We have to ask where does national interest end and where does global responsibility begin.”
The event culminated with the launch of the Futures Forum, which is a continuation of meetings between city officials, innovators, investors and the youth to find solutions to urban and global challenges.