The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) hosted together with 1Million 2030 Youth Leaders and the Global Challenges Forum (GCF) a virtual roundtable on “COVID-19 and Global Youth Leadership.” The May 14th event was part of UNITAR’s Division on People and Social Inclusion COVID-19 webinar series. There were eight 1M2030 spotlight speakers, brought together by renowned international experts and inspiring global youth leaders to discuss the latest ideas, projects and initiatives leveraging capacity building to protect and restore communities around the world affected by COVID-19.
Focus on net positive impact for the planet, and for fellow human being. You may well be the first post-provincial generation. Humanity is traditionally very provincial. Your vision and global outreach allow you to have the ability to think broader – broader than anyone in any prior generation.
Sameer Chauhan, Director, UNICC
After jointly sponsoring a business seminar with UNITAR in October 2019, UNICC was keen to be involved. Director Sameer Chauhan, invited as one of the senior experts, stepped up to provide some insightful thought leadership to the group.
The event began with a presentation from each 1M2030 participant and was followed by remarks from senior experts who spoke about the role of young people during the pandemic and who discussed the presentations of the youth speakers. The session ended after a thorough Q&A session.
After presentations from inspiring youth leaders from all over the world on projects and health initiatives responding to COVID-19, Sameer offered his encouragement, praise and advice to the youth presenters:
You all have a strong moral compass – which is why you are working on these ideas and not on the next money spinner or get-rich-quick idea. Make sure you retain that compass to guide you on this journey. If asked to make compromises, use this moral compass, but make sure you are making decisions that are aligned with what this moral compass tells you.
Focus on net positive impact for the planet, and for fellow human being. You may well be the first post-provincial generation. Humanity is traditionally very provincial. Your vision and global outreach allow you to have the ability to think broader – broader than anyone in any prior generation. But when you think of the planet, don’t just focus on humanity, but on the well-being of the entire planet.
It is easier to break, but much harder to build. I will encourage you to build together and support each other. 1 Million Youth Leaders, GCF, UNITAR and others can provide you with the glue to stay connected, but you have to support each other.
Other senior experts offered their own ideas and analysis regarding the role of youth during the pandemic, providing a multi-lateral thought leadership to complement the projects presented for a rich and rewarding virtual event.
More on UNITAR and the GCF
In September 2019, UNITAR and the GCF foundation partnered to promote a new youth capacity-building initiative. They launched the One Million Youth Leaders Beyond 2030 (1M2030) initiative on the 27th of September, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. 1M2030 is a social welfare initiative, which promotes a global movement to empower youth to complete projects aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The initiative primarily aims to target beneficiaries from Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States and Landlocked Developing Countries.
GCF plans to register and enlist 1 million youth by 2030 to overcome various challenges in different countries by undertaking small/medium sized projects aligned to the 17 SDGs. The dynamic youth presenters for this virtual roundtable event are part of that project and are part of the 2019 cohort of youth leaders. For more information on other speakers please see the event agenda and the 1M2030 Youth Leaders Site to learn how to follow and support those projects for COVID-19 support.