UN Day 2017: Youth encouraged to champion sustainable development

Windhoek, 24 October 2017 – In celebration of the 72nd anniversary of the United Nations (UN), the UN System in Namibia (UN Namibia) hosted an exhibition for learners aimed at encouraging the youth to use their voices to bring about positive change in line with national, regional and international development agendas. The exhibition, held under the theme, “United with UN Namibia for sustainable development” took place on 24 October 2017 at the UN House in Klein Windhoek.

Kicking off the exhibition, the UN Resident Coordinator to Namibia, Kiki Gbeho said that partnerships, not only with development partners, stakeholders and academia, but also with the youth, are crucial to eradicate poverty, save the planet and ensure prosperity for all.

“We challenge [the youth] to be the generation that creates a fairer world; a world with a health and educated population and where poverty is a thing of the past. We challenge you to unite for development,” the UNRC said.

Youth make up a large percentage of Namibia’s population, and according to UNESA, Africa’s youth population is expected to more than double by 2055. Demonstrating the innovation and drive of the younger generation, learners from the Sunshine Private School marimba band performed an original piece about the SDGs as part of the proceedings, encouraging the audience to use their voices to be the change they want to see and to achieve the 17 global goals.

The Deputy Minister of Economic Planning Hon. Lucia Iipumbu echoed the integral role of partnership in the achieving development agendas, specifically the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5).

“Together we have put in place some solid foundations for shared progress, which I am convinced we will continue to build on. We will continue to empower women, engage the youth, uphold human rights for all, eradicate poverty and provide technical support and expertise to push the development agenda forward in Namibia,” Hon. Iipumbu said.

Following the event, learners and invited guests, including Deputy Ministers from Land, Fisheries and the Office of the Prime Minister, representatives from Namibia’s line ministries, representatives of the diplomatic corps and development partners, had the opportunity to learn more about the UN’s work in Namibia and interact with various programme staff members. The dynamic exhibition also raised awareness of the United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF), the partnership framework between the UN Namibia and the Namibian government.

UN Day, an observance celebrated globally, marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the UN officially came into being. In Namibia, over 170 staff members make up the UN System in Namibia.