THE UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, said young people were usually confronted with life-threatening risks while trying to access quality education.
Speaking at a virtual conference organised by Covenant University and United Nations Information Centre to mark the United Nations 75th anniversary, Kallon said with the agenda 2030, they were working at a world with equitable and universal access to quality education at all levels.
The theme of the conference was, ‘The future we want, the United Nations we need: Reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism’.
He explained that the UN wished to see a world that would ensure every young person was empowered to achieve his/her full potential and recognised as an agent of change
“Young people constitute a tremendous and essential asset worth investing in, opening the door to an unparalleled multiplier effect. At the same time, young people are also facing incredible challenges and even life-threatening risks, disproportionately carried by girls and young women in many parts of the world.
“These arise when accessing their rights, including to quality education, healthcare or decent work. They also arise in situations of conflict or when young people flee home in search of survival or move for better opportunities.
“With this large and increasing number of young people across the globe, it is abundantly clear that it is only by engaging and working with them, supporting them in standing up for their rights and creating the conditions allowing them to progress and play an active role, that we will be able to achieve peace, security, justice, climate resilience and sustainable development for all.
“The UN wants to see a world in which the human rights of every young person are realised; that ensures every young person is empowered to achieve his/her full potential, and that recognises young people as agents of change.”
He explained that one of the five strategies the UN Secretary-General developed to support young people’s greater access to quality education was called the ‘Human Capital Development’.
Also speaking at the conference, the National Officer, United Nations Information Centre, Nigeria, Dr Seyi Soremekun, called on academics to be more aggressive in their contributions to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria.
He said, “I call on the academics to be more aggressive in their contributions to the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria. Not all contributions require funds as some studies have established.
“However, I also understand that time is money. Contribute your time and talent. Be familiar with not only the 17 goals of the Agenda 2030 but also the 169 targets and the specific 232 indicators for measuring the 169 SDG targets.
“This knowledge will guide a deeper understanding of the salient issues, and enhance measuring results and holding the government to account. 2030 is just around the corner. Let’s cover more grounds in this decade of action towards realising the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.”