Every year, on 20 November, we celebrate the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted in 1989. This year, UNICEF focused on children’s right to participate by encouraging “Kids Take Over” worldwide, a call to action “for children, by children.”
In celebration of the Universal Children’s Day, we organized a special youth dialogue between students from the Bwaila Secondary School in Lilongwe in Malawi and the Lycée International de Ferney-Voltaire, Ferney-Voltaire in France. For this particular YCD, students focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
His Excellency, Mr. Robert Dufter Salama, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Malawi to the UN in Geneva, delivered the opening remarks and left the participants with a question “if all the adults in the world disappeared today, what changes would you make to make the world a better place? What would your role be? Who would you involve to make these changes?”
Students organized the dialogue by selecting five priority SDGs that they thought were relevant to each country. Without any prior discussions to the dialogue, students from both schools chose similar SDGs.
In addition to these three, the students from Bwaila Secondary School in Lilongwe, Malawi also highlighted SDGs 1 and 4.
The students from Lyceé International de Ferney-Voltaire highlighted SDGs 5, 12 and 17.
During the final ceremony, following a lively performance by Kids United, we launched a videoclip that highlighted YCDs that took place earlier between a French school and a Somali refugees school in Ethiopia.
Mr. Angus Mackay, Head of the UN CC: Learn Secretariat and Manager of the Green Development and Climate Change Programme (GCP) committed to organizing 30 more Youth Climate Dialogues by 2020 with the aim to reach more and those students living in remote areas.
Mr. Angus Mackay making a pledge to organize 30 YCDs by 2020 at the Wall of Hope
Hundreds of children and young people (14-19 years old) and high-level representatives from different organizations participated with the common goal of encouraging youth to take an active role in the achievement of the SDGs.