SDG4Youth Network: Positioning students and youth at the front and centre of SDG4

UNESCO has launched the SDG4Youth network – a network for youth and students to take action on SDG 4, with the support of the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Generation Unlimited, and other partners.

Youth and students are key partners towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) for Education as the primary stakeholders of education. However, they have continuously been excluded in the discussions and decision-making processes around the education sector’s development. Young people bring unique experiences and perspectives of learning across formal, informal and non-formal education. The Secretary-General’s ‘Our Common Agenda’ includes recommendations for meaningful, diverse and effective youth engagement, including through better political representation and by transforming education, skills training and lifelong learning.

The SDG4Youth network is designed as an open, inclusive, and representative platform to support students and youth education groups in shaping global education policies within the renewed Global Education Cooperation Mechanism (GCM) and the global apex body for education – the SDG 4-Education 2030 High-Level Steering Committee (HLSC). Two equal and representative youth/student seats have now been designated on the HLSC – one at the “Leadership Group” and one at the “Sherpa” technical level.

This follows the repeated calls from youth delegates at various global fora, including the 2018 Global Education Meeting and the 2019 UNESCO Youth Forum, to invest in and prioritize youth and students formal representation. This means bringing young people and students into decision-making processes to co-create solutions together for a better future. In line with this key recommendation among others, the SDG4Youth Network will serve as a catalyst platform for youth and students’ joint action and planning of activities and sharing of practices and experience.

Are you a student or youth organization working to advance the SDG4 goal and targets? Do you meet the following criteria?

  • You are aged 18-29 years old and/or the leadership/decision-making body for your organization/group is comprised of 51% or more people aged below 30
  • You are actively working to contribute to the Education 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  • Your organisation/group is not for profit
  • Your organization/group has been in existence or active in advocacy and implementation of education issues for a minimum of two years

Applications are open from 22 October 2021 to join the SDG4Youth network.

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