CIFAL Atlanta and UNITAR Engaging Youth in Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals

Students participating in the “Distinguished Global Ambassadors” workshop3-6 April 2018, Geneva, Switzerland - The International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders in Atlanta (CIFAL Atlanta) and Kennesaw State University (KSU), with the support of UNITAR hosted a four-day workshop titled “Distinguished Global Ambassadors” for a delegation of 10 graduate students from KSU.

The workshop was held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva and consisted of a series of lectures on topics related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as health and well-being, non-communicable diseases, road safety, climate change, chemicals and waste management, among others. The overall objective of the workshop was to raise awareness among youth about the crucial role they play in the advancement of sustainable development and to encourage them to take action.

During the four-day workshop, students learned about the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They were introduced to the United Nations System and specially to the UN Office in Geneva (UNOG) that hosts more than 40 agencies.  An overview and tour of the Palais des Nations - a unique complex originally built for the League of Nations in the 1930s that now hosts or supports over 12,000 conferences every year on vital topics to the international community- was also given to the visiting students.

As part of the workshop activities, each student presented project proposals that include targeted actions to be implemented by the students in communities in the Atlanta area in the subjects of education, sustainable architecture, cross-cultural engagement, and climate resilience. Members of UNITAR’s Social Development Programme provided feedback and recommendations to the students on how to implement their projects in their respective cities.

On the last day of the workshop, Dr. Ken Harmon President of Kennesaw State University provided a keynote address and gave students an insightful speech about the core values and characteristics of what leadership represents in the personal and professional realm. “To be an efficient and true leader, one must first know and understand oneself” highlighted Dr. Harmon.

Mr. Nikhil Seth, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNITAR called the students to act and contribute to make the SDG’s a reality within their immediate and local communities, in addition to highlighting the importance that the SDG’s hold for humanity. Mr. Seth presented the certificates of completion to each student ambassador. 

Photo 1: Students participating in the “Distinguished Global Ambassadors” workshop