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A resounding call from youth activists - listen to us!


There can be no doubt. Young people around the world are leading the way in demanding urgent action to protect people and planet. This weekend, the momentum rose further as an estimated four million people around the world united on Friday 20 September for the global climate strike (according to event organisers). Young people also gathered for the United Nations Youth Climate Summit on Saturday 21 September to put forward real solutions to decision-makers on how to tackle climate change and take us further towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It’s time for world leaders to make big changes. Young voices must be heard and supported!

This week, starting today with the UN Climate Action Summit and extending to the SDG Summit taking place 24–25 September in New York, world leaders will be under the spotlight. Over the coming days they will review progress and make plans to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Youth organisations are an amazing resource to make this happen. They are some of the main promoters of the SDGs, with high levels of awareness of the 2030 Agenda and ability to campaign and build young people’s capacity to get involved. Decisions on our present and future cannot be made without us.

Here is what we need our leaders to do:

  1. Live up to your 2030 Agenda commitment!
    Adopt overarching strategies that integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development (society, environment and economy), supported by the top level of government and based on in-depth analysis of what’s missing from existing policy frameworks, processes and mechanisms.

See our key demands in our Position on the Comprehensive Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Europe.

  • Support youth organisations!

Systematically tackle the obstacles that prevent youth organisations from working more effectively on the SDGs, such as a lack of funding and lack of meaningful representation of diverse youth-led NGOs in decision-making.

See our key recommendations for governments and public institutions on the recognition and the support of youth organisations’ contributions to the 2030 agenda.

  1. Take immediate action to respond to the climate crisis!
    Implement concrete, binding and immediate plans to fulfil their obligations in line with the Paris Agreement, set more ambitious targets, and integrate climate action in all policy making.

See our resolution in support of youth demanding urgent climate action.

Following the loud and clear messages from youth all over Europe and the world this weekend, world leaders gathering in New York this week have no excuses.

The European Youth Forum

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