Members of the Young Scientist Ambassador Programme (YSAP) recently contributed to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) 2018 Youth Forum (#YOUTH2030). The forum,  titled ‘The role of youth in building sustainable and resilient urban and rural communities’, provided a platform for youth and youth leaders to engage government representatives, policymakers, and stakeholders from civil society and the private sector to generate new ideas for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. YSAP provided input on concept notes for SDG 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all and SDG 17: The use of science, technology and innovations in facilitating youth engagement, development, and resilience.

YSAP Co-Chair, John Malone, attended the forum at United Nations Headquarters in New York City, 30-31 January 2018 and participated in discussions with members of the SDG 17 panel and participants at the breakout session. The format was an ideathon and was held in the Trusteeship Council Chamber in which more than 180 participants separated into three breakout groups to discuss the potential of science technology and innovation for youth engagement, development of digital skills, and resilience. John discussed the Young Scientist Ambassador Programme, in particular the science and education missions sponsored by the GYA and how involving scientists between nations creates extra opportunities for youth to get involved in science and for scientists to serve as role models for youth. Several participants stressed the role of digital technology and developing entrepreneurial spirit in youth as a means to ensure development of resilient communities. Nine groups, the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the UN Women, United Nations Volunteers (UNV), the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Major Group on Children and Youth (MGCY), and the Global Young Academy contributed towards development of SDG 17.

Full details of the forum, as well as media zone discussions can be found here: https://www.un.org/ecosoc/en/node/2641005