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Speak To The Hands: Youth from around the world arrive in New York to take on the Global Goals

New York is excited. The Pope is coming to town. So are the leaders of almost every country in the world, all coming to the United Nations this week to sign up to Global Goals on ending poverty, fighting inequality and fixing climate change.

As the generation who will be most affected by those goals, as well as embodying the best chance to achieve them, young people have been involved in shaping them from the beginning, through formal platforms such as the Major Group on Children and Youth. Some of those young people will be joining the Pope and others in the grand opening ceremony of the United Nations Summit this Friday, but before the limousines arrive, a hundred young people gathered in New York from every corner of the world were set a challenge: tell other young people why they should care in under 20 minutes. Here are some of their answers:

Speak to the Hands: a music video on #KnowYourGoals created in 20 minutes

I saw their faces - now I’m a believer - by Rocío González

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Suddenly, you: a young researcher mostly confined to an academic cubicle, are invited to talk about your small research project. You arrive in New York City to be a part of something called ‘the Post 2015 agenda implementation process’. And then you see the magnitude of this global effort. It’s been an enormous surprise to realise the number of people who can be mobilised around the simple idea of bringing these 17 goals to young people around the world. Noticing how young people from all sorts of different backgrounds and organisations have been working since the Rio+20 conference in 2012, just to open the process for as many voices as possible.

I personally am recently involved with the SDG agenda and also have been a little sceptical about the actual implementation process: how are we going to endhunger and poverty, for example? But it has been a great surprise to experience how young people are really committed to create strategies and to share the personal and global processes that they have accomplished already in achieving these goals before they technically ‘start’ in 2016.

Therefore, I expect to leave New York as a true believer of the Post 2015 agenda, and most important, as a true ambassador for this process.

#TellEveryBody: Popularising the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa - by Rotimi Olawale, Nigeria

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On September 25, 2015 at the United Nations, 193 world leaders would come together again, as they did in 2000 to adopt a new and historic set of goals called the Sustainable Development Goals. These goals were developed as a result of several meetings, processes, consultations and involving ordinary, everyday citizens in possibly one of the largest UN surveys ever, the MyWorld Survey!

To popularize these goals in Africa, the ONE campaign worked with 3 famous African music producers Cobhams Asuquo (Nigeria), David KING DAVID Muthami (Kenya) and Ellputo (Mozambique)  and launched a verse-writing competition, receiving 5712 entries from 24 African countries.

The song (“#TellEveryBody”)features Mafikizolo (South Africa), Yemi Alade (Nigeria), Diamond (Tanzania), Sauti Sol (Kenya), Toofan (Togo), Becca and Sarkodie (Ghana).

Written, recorded, produced and released by Africans for the world, the song attempts to ignite the political passions of young people to hold their leaders to account in meeting the Global Goals for Sustainable Development: to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and fix climate change by 2030.

Help us get the goals to everyone on the planet. Share or watch this video here:

Join here and challenge your leaders to deliver the goals:

Click here to download the track:

Generation 2030: The power of the future in our hands - by Merybell Reynoso, Dominican Republic

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After three years of long discussions between member states, civil society and all stakeholders, a universal, and ambitious set of goals, targets and indicators will be expected to use to frame local, and national agendas, and political policies over the next 15 years.

2015 has been a crucial year for agreeing on making this happen but what goes beyond this is in our hands. The UN Secretary General has said so himself on several occasions:

“We have been brought together today because this is a crucial time for people and our planet.  2015 is not just any other year.  2015 represents an opportunity for transformation.  It is meant to be a year of global action, the year we make history, the year we move the world towards a more sustainable and equitable future.”

As “torch-bearers” of the new development agenda, we all have a critical role to play in ending poverty, and inequality. Our actions will be crucial to make this a world where no one - and I mean no one - is left behind.