Kathmandu, January 15
The youths, the largest section of the population in Nepal, have a responsibility towards making the 17 Sustainable Development Goals a reality in the country.
“Young people can make informed decisions, take positive and productive actions and motivate friends and families to think and act differently to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” says a new publication by the United Nations Population Fund that provides youths with a guidance on what roles they can play to help implement the SDGs in the country.
The guide for Nepali young people says youth can inspire communities to break limitations and prejudices, raise their voices to spread messages, carry out actions and review the progress of SDGs and hold their government accountable. It has 17 case studies featuring prolific youth activists and entrepreneurs, and explains in a subtle way what young people can do to implement SDGs and how.
“My SDGs, My Responsibility: A Youth Guide for Sustainable Development in Nepal” was prepared by Yuwa, a Nepali youth organisation, with technical and financial support from UNFPA.
In order to end poverty, first goal in SDGs, it says that young people can participate in development work and monitor progress, reach out to relevant people and organisations to identify those living in poverty and advocate that resources be directed towards them and inform their friends about government programmes that guarantee wage employment. The 2015 National Youth Policy of the government says that social protection will be provided to unemployed youth. The same section of the guide features a story of a youth in Karnali who is helping to improve livelihood and income generation activities in the Dalit community.
Under SDG’s second goal — Zero Hunger, the report emphasises that youths can educate other young people to develop healthy habits such as nutritious foods and sanitation, involve themselves in community actions and programs for people affected by famine and malnutrition, learn about nutritious behaviour, and inform others about balanced diets.
To explain more about how youths can contribute towards the attainment of this goal, the UNFPA publication features a youth from Sindhuli who is serving more than 10,000 farming families in the district through an SMS platform and mobile application.
Similarly, on the roles youths can play to promote good health and well-being, which is the third goal in SDGs, it says young people can make their friends aware about safe and positive sexual activities, educate about the effects of smoking, excessive drinking and negative lifestyle habits, spread information about the risks of HIV and AIDS and promote good sanitation practices including menstrual management.
The report also explains what youths in the country can do to help achieve the remaining 14 SDGs. The UN General Assembly in the year 2015 adopted the SDGs to end poverty, reduce inequality and protect the planet by 2030. Nepal, as a member state of the UN, has a responsibility towards all of the 17 SDG goals.
A version of this article appears in print on January 16, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.