We, the representatives of youth organizations from around the world, gathered at the 11th Session of the World Urban Forum of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in the City of Katowice, Poland, on June 26th, 2022, declare our right to the city and express our intention to work with stakeholders at the local, national and international level to strive for the meaningful inclusion of youth in the sustainable, inclusive, safe and prosperous development of our cities and communities with the goal of leaving no one behind in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
During the Youth 2030 Cities forums, young people from six countries were asked to share the most pertinent challenges facing their local communities. These top issues were then reinforced and expanded upon by the youth gathered at WUF11. The most important problems facing youth across the fourteen total countries include:
• Environmental degradation and climate change • Employment and economic opportunities • Youth governance and inclusion
• Gender equality & sexual reproductive rights
• Migration and forced displacement • Urban safety • Mental health and wellbeing
This Declared Action seeks to place youth at the forefront of conversations, debates, and decision-making with local and national governments. Youth contain a unique perspective of the state of their local communities which must be openly communicated so then to be reflected in public policies and infrastructural practices. If the international community endeavors to improve these seven themes, youth must also be enabled as agents of change which means creating more spaces for youth to speak and be heard, public and private funding for youth-led initiatives, and removing barriers to youth inclusion in decision-making which are often tied to preconceived beliefs based on their age and experience. To achieve the SDGs by 2030, youth must be leading the way through a localized effort, combining forces with government, civil society, academia, and private sector, and educating other youth on the SDGs. Youth must also be able to track and monitor the achievement of the SDGs through comprehensive tools and data analysis. The SDG Scorecard, developed through the Youth 2030 Cities initiative allows youth to take action into their own hands, monitor the SDGs being implemented in their local communities, and hold local and national government accountable for sustainable policies and projects. Additionally, youth need a platform to learn from each other and share best practices which is why Youth 2030 Cities also created an online Community of Practice platform where youth from around the world can connect and exchange ideas. Through this youth empowering youth model, we endeavor to create a powerful movement of young people creating positive change all over the world.
Expected results include youth no longer taking a back seat in conversations around policies and practices but be the drivers of local action and the implementation of the SDGs.