27 September 2019, Geneva, Switzerland - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Global Challenges Forum Foundation (GCF) are partnering to promote a new youth capacity-building initiative by creating an umbrella for fragmented, siloed, and left-behind efforts on youth empowerment.

Additionally, they joined forces to host the launch of the One Million Youth Leaders Beyond 2030 (1M2030) initiative on the 27th of September, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The occasion was accentuated by Mr. Nikhil Seth, the UN Assistant Secretary General, Executive Director of UNITAR, who gave the opening remarks honoring the upcoming young leaders to empower themselves by taking the lead on attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.


Through this statistical data, it becomes clear that the young among us must become present changemakers and not merely the futuristic hope of the elders.  The most frequently quoted definition of sustainable development is from Our Common Future, known as the Brundtland Report and says: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

1M2030 is a social welfare initiative, which aspires to carry forward a global movement to empower youth to execute projects aligned to the UN SDGs. Via online and face to face training, mentorship, and access to micro-financing, youth are empowered to implement projects in their communities. The initiative primarily aims to target beneficiaries from Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States and Landlocked Developing Countries.


Through this 1M2030 project, GCF is initiating 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. They already have made a conceptual start via the launch event, networking, and planned expansion.

The event officially launched the Global Challenges Forum’s 1M2030 project and brought together international experts and inspiring youth speakers to assemble the latest thinking on how capacity-building can be leveraged to mobilize a new generation of young leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and beyond. It included panel discussions, and TEDx-style youth talks, where nine selected spotlight speakers presented their aspiring projects in front of an influential crowd.

Given the invaluable results of this partnership, UNITAR looks forward to future collaborations with GCF and the 1M2030 initiative and will continue enhancing the content and format of its training activities related to their common ambitions.

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