New York: Strengthening youth engagement to promote the SDGs


New York, USA/April 12, 2019: At the first-ever Model United Nations Summit organised at the UN Headquarters in New York, UNODC experts called on young people and educators to take charge and promote peace and the rule of law around the world.

Attended by more than 600 young leaders and educators from 30 countries, the conclave was aimed at strengthening youth-driven initiatives on the Sustainable Development Goals.

In a special address, UN Secretary General Antonio Gueterres urged the youth to "mobilize, activate networks and push world leaders to step up their ambition and to meet their global responsibilities." 

The sessions featured workshops and plenaries led by inspiring student leaders and United Nations experts, who shared their experiences and ideas on how to transform MUN into a force for positive change.

At the forum, UNODC also showcased the  Education for Justice (E4J) Initiative, a special program designed to support the implementation of the 2015 Doha Declaration, which unites all nations for a common purpose: the education of younger generations to ensure a better tomorrow.

The E4J Initiative seeks to prevent crime, promote well-being and strengthen a culture of lawfulness through education activities designed for primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

Under this initiative, UNODC engages with students, educators and parents on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 4,5,10 and 16 in particular), peace and the rule of law, and co-create solutions with their participation for a better future. E4J inspires and empowers children and youth to stay healthy and safe, and create a society free from drugs, crime, and violent extremism.

In an interaction with the delegates, UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake appealed to young people to make their voices heard on national, regional and global platforms. She also extended support to youth-driven and youth-focused regional initiatives on peace, justice and strong institutions, in a meeting with UNODC South Asia's Communications Officer Samarth Pathak on the sidelines of the Summit. 

Participants left with a toolkit of ideas, a network of support and a new action-oriented vision for their MUN clubs and conferences.

The United Nations Model UN Youth Summit is expected to be held every year and will be open to students between the ages of 15 and 24.