Dubai, UAE: With the half-way point on the 2030 Agenda fast approaching, PwC Middle East recently launched a first of its kind, global survey capturing the often unheard voices and perspectives of youth under the age of 20 towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report, titled, The Global Youth Outlook, explores the perceptions, engagement and views of the youth on the SDGs, and the extent to which government, business, academia, and multilateral organisations are supporting them.
The survey also captures how to further engage youth in the SDGs to build a more sustainable future and enhance people’s wellbeing and ultimately preserve our planet. One of the survey’s key findings is that the majority of the survey’s participants are actively engaged – or plan to engage – around the SDGs, with the majority prioritising the SDGs on Clean Water and Sanitation, Climate Change, and Zero Hunger as the most significant issues. Hence, 73% of the survey respondents identified SDG 6: Clean Water & Sanitation “most important”, while 72% identified SDG 13: Climate Action’ as ‘extremely important’ and 69% chose SDG 2: Zero Hunger as “extremely important”.
Commenting on the survey’s results, Rami Nazer, Global Government & Public Services Advisory Leader, PwC Middle East, commented: “We’re thrilled that our latest survey’s results capture youth’s optimism, potential, and readiness to actively shape a new collective, sustainable future. However, with 1/3 of the respondents indicating that they are unsure as to how to actively support the Goals, the onus is on us, as businesses, organisations, governments, and even communities to provide appropriate avenues for young people to access information and support the SDGs”.
Adding: “Not only is our region one of the most vulnerable in the world to the impact of climate change due to the dual threats of water scarcity and food security, we also have one of the highest youth demographics. The time has come to capitalise the energy of our region’s youth and use it as a driving force towards the realisation of our global goals and ambitions.
Typically, youth engagement through initiating focused-outreach programmes, addressing information and communication gaps in SDGs and creating community-organised events, exchange programmes etc, will have a strong impact on structuring youth engagement and contribution towards a better future.
The latest report voices the views, ambitions, and engagement of approximately 700 children and young adults with the SDGs. Participants’ ages are between 10 to 20, with most of the respondents (42%) between the ages of 14 –16, from 81 cities across the world with the Middle East representing the largest region of respondents to the survey (44%).
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