Connecting you for the Beijing Forum – Indonesia

By Yos Fahleza – 2030 Youth Force Indonesia

I’ve been in volunteering services for years starting from my college life in 2013 when I was in the University. Involved in several communities bring you to be an open-minded person and eager to learn new things. The projects themselves also led me to be a person who are passionate about developing communities and the people among it. I joined an organization was voluntarily based organization which promotes an innovative, values-based approach to peace building. Through this, I found out about Sustainable Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development which been the international community’s ambitious response to today’s most pressing global development challenges and will guide our development priorities for an entire generation.

As a volunteer, you will never stop learning. Because “once a volunteer, always a volunteer”. It can mean learning about different communities, organizations as well as learning more about yourself. In fact, that doing good is scientifically proven to lead to more good deeds, volunteering is an experience that stays with you forever. This might be the reason for me to joining the 2030 Youth Force Indonesia team.

The platform led you somewhere to the field of the new concept of Volunteer. I inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals which cover all the 17 global issues into one action. I keen to join 2030 Youth Force because It also a youth-led organization which engage in the SDGs promotion and initiate actions to drive inclusive and peaceful society along with strengthening youth capacities for participation in decision-making.

Leaving no one left behind also become our concern because in Indonesia itself, there are so many excluded and marginalized are that really need a support and inclusive movement. Involved in APFYLIE in China made me realized that building partnerships within people from various background really created a bigger impact than walking alone. We collaborate and coordinate the effort for effective project implementation to achieving SDGs goals faster.

So, I didn’t regret from the decision that I’ve made from the start to join this event, Asia Pacific Forum for Youth Leadership Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This would be my greatest achievement and my new life changing experience. Too many insights to share and this event broke my perspective about being an entrepreneur. During this forum, I learned that all the entrepreneurs who’ve came and present their projects have the similarities to solve the problems. The problems themselves just came out based on their life experiences in their communities to help people with disabilities, fighting poverty, lower education, etc. There’s no competition, or seeking for margin and profit, but only opportunities for collaboration and networking. Imagine, with only 17 Start ups joined into one big team, they can solve many obstacles in the Asia Pacific region. So, let’s look the region wider. Imagine when the group of people globally together doing something to face those problems above as well. Impossible is nothing.

The final notes that I want to share is from the keynote speaker who said, “United we fight, united we win. Now, these stories are yours to take.” So, the question is, “do you want to be a solution or a pollution?”
Volunteer once said, “The fulfillment that comes with helping human being, the satisfaction from knowing you’ve made a difference, are just a few reasons once is never enough.”

Role of Youths in achieving Sustainable Development Goals

Binita Karki
Co-founder, 2030 Youth Force

World leaders from 193 countries have adopted sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 25th September 2015. Those countries have pledged to mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities, and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. Nepal is also one of the countries agreed upon the 2030 Agenda. The SDGs build on the work of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were emphasized from 2000 to 2015. The new SDGs are unique in that they’re broader in their scope of eradicating all forms of poverty by calling for action by all countries, rich and poor, to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. There are 17 goals, which are universal, integrated, and transformative. First, the most important goals apply to every nation and every sector. Cities, businesses, schools, organizations all are challenged to act on it, it is called universality. Second, it is recognized that the Goals are all inter-connected, in a system. We cannot aim to achieve just one Goal. We must achieve them all. This is called
Integration. And finally, it is widely recognized that achieving these Goals involves making very big, fundamental changes in how we live on Earth. This is called
Transformation. All those 17 goals aim to make this world a better place to leave for all.
The Sustainable Development Goals are not legally binding, so it’s up to us, the citizen changemakers of the world, to carry them out on the ground as well as to hold our countries’ leaders accountable to following through on their commitment. Below we have laid out some ways you can make your voice heard and contribute to the Global Goals agenda.

According to UNSCAP 2017, 60% of people aged between 15 and 24 live in Asia and the Pacific; that’s about 700 million youth. Most young people are optimistic about the future. A YouthSpeak global survey of 180,000 young people showed 68% believe the world will be a better place by 2030. Creating opportunities for youth to move out of poverty into decent and sustainable work will help capitalize on the demographic dividend created by the region’s youthful population. Youths like us have been working voluntarily to promote SDGs and make it happen by 2030. We have to be ones who take these goals as our own goal and must act on to achieve them. Investment on youths and their ideas, inclusion of youths in decision making level, providing youths spaces to stablish their social enterprises are some of the things that stakeholders must consider seriously to encourage youths to contribute on SDGs. SDGs are achievable and youths must take actions to achieve them.

The Sustainable Development Goals are an important opportunity to improve the quality of life for all human beings and our planet. We invite you to join us and the rest of the global community in promoting the Goals. Together, we can achieve a breakthrough in sustainable development and leave no one behind!

here some glance of 2030 youth force nepal

Nepal to New York for Peace

In April 2017, I saw an application announcement for a consultation program on Youth, Peace and Security. When I came to read the word ‘Peace’, my childhood memories came to mind. I remember the day when I was afraid of being kidnapped by a local insurgent group, just because I was the daughter of a retired army officer. We hardly ever got any sleep, as the sound of bomb blasts kept us awake. I missed school on many days because of regular strikes. Growing up in rural Nepal, I faced conflict up close during my childhood. Later on, the civil war stopped, but there was no ‘positive peace’. As Nepal is a multiethnic country, some of the marginalized communities are still protesting for their rights. This is a cause I care about, leading me to organize a media campaign to keep harmony and brotherhood among different castes and ethnic groups. I always had the dream to contribute to peace building also at the global level. These were my thoughts when reading the application announcement site, bringing a smile to my face.

In December of 2015, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2250, on Youth, Peace and Security, the first resolution fully dedicated to the positive role young people can and do play in conflict prevention, the prevention of violent extremism and peacebuilding. UN SCR 2250 mandates the UN Secretary-General “to carry out a progress study on the youth’s positive contribution to peace processes and conflict resolution, in order to recommend effective responses at local, national, regional and international levels”, and to present the results of the Study to Member States of the United Nations. The application announcement was for the regional consultation in Asia-Pacific, part of a series of consultations organized for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security.

I applied for the event on behalf of 2030 Youth Force, the Asia-Pacific youth network working on the Sustainable Development Goals as I am one of the co-founders of the organization. I received the confirmation email with great happiness. It was my privilege and an honor to be a part of the Asia-Pacific Regional Consultation on Youth, Peace and Security conducted in Bangkok on 16-17 May 2017. During the regional consultation, I met 42 young peacebuilders from across the Asia-Pacific region. We discussed recommendations with regard to the strategic support young peace builders need. The final recommendations were shaped in five different categories: Support for Youth Organizations/initiatives, Mechanisms for the Implementation of UN SCR 2250, Political Inclusion, Education and Social Media.

Six month after the regional consultation, I received another invitation to attend the Validation Program on the Progress Study of Youth, Peace and Security 2250, which was going to take place in New York on 18-19 November. The event was jointly organized by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and the UN Populations Fund (UNFPA)/PBSO Secretariat for the Progress Study, with support from the Government of Canada. Again, I was extremely happy to receive the invitation, but also aware of my responsibility: This time, I was not only representing Nepal, I was representing young peacebuilders from the entire Asia-Pacific region. I had the huge responsibility to speak and amplify the voice of all the young peacebuilders.

I started to read all the reports from the different regional consultations, which were conducted in seven different regions: Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, East and Southern Africa, Europe, Latin America-Caribbean, and West Africa between December 2016 and September 2017. The recommendations from the other regions were similar to the ones from the Asia-Pacific, which made me feel like all the young peacebuilders around the world have the same challenges as us. They also want to feel secure for working in the peace sector. Though we represent our respective regions, which are very different from each other not only geographically but also culturally, all of us shared the same enthusiasm and similar challenges working on building peace.

Finally, the day came and 18 peacebuilders from all the seven regions gathered in front of the United Nations headquarters on 18 November at 9:45 am. We greeted each other with smiles and handshakes. As the program started, I was fascinated by the amazing discussions. Over the two-day program, we not only discussed the recommendations from the regional consultations; we also prioritized the most important recommendations, refined them, and tried to make them more specific and practical. We focused on some of the most important recommendations, such as ensuring political inclusion for young people, creating online and offline platforms for young peacebuilders to learn and share their experiences, resolving the violence of exclusion, ensuring economic inclusion for women and minorities, and collaborating with national and local government bodies to create an action plan for the implementation of UN SCR 2250.

We want our voice to be heard. Young people are not only sources of information to be consulted briefly. We are equal partners who can take the lead on strategic action. We look forward to raising awareness of and implementing the Youth, Peace and Security movement globally.

Workshop on The Role of Libraries in SDGs

On January 14, 2017, Mr. Phuong Athika, Co-founder of 2030 Youth Force in Cambodia, Mr. Vann Bunna and Mr. Som Sokpheatra, SDG Ambassador to 2030 Youth Force in Cambodia, attended the workshop entitled, “Role of Libraries in Sustainable Development Goals,” at CamEd Business School. The workshop was conducted by the Cambodian Librarians and Documentalists Association, and provided librarians and related partners an opportunity to discuss the important role of libraries in achieving sustainable development goals by 2030.


Initially, Mr. Soth Nimol, Head of Office/UN Coordination Specialist for the United Nations mission in Cambodia, presented an overview of 17 sustainable development goals from the UN 2030 Agenda to the participants. To catch up with the agenda, Mr. Sok Lak, Co-founder of the Scholar Library and an active member of Cambodian Librarians and Documentalists Association, shared on how libraries can contribute to achieving sustainable development goals. He emphasized that:

libraries play a key role in achieving SDGs. Not only do libraries help students, but they also provide the general public with access to information so they may make informed decisions to improve their lives.

They provide information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, which helps people develop the capacity to use information effectively, and preserves information to ensure ongoing access for future generations. Libraries create trusted networks of local institutions that can reach out effectively to all parts of the population.


After the speaker presented the overview of libraries’ role in SDGs, participants were divided into groups to discuss how libraries can contribute to achieve the SDGs included in the UN 2030 Agenda. At the end of the discussion session, we unanimously agreed that libraries and access to information contribute to improve outcomes across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by:

  • Promoting universal literacy, including digital, media and information literacy and skills development with the support of dedicated staff;
  • Closing gaps in information access and helping government, civil society and businesses understand local information needs better;
  • Providing a network of delivery sites for government programmes and services;
  • Advancing digital inclusion through access to information and communication technology (ICT);
  • Serving as the heart of the research and academic community; and
  • Preserving and providing access to the world’s culture and heritage.

Content provided by

Mr. Vann Bunna,

SDG Ambassador to 2030 Youth Force in Cambodia

A Deep Bench

2016 was not a great year for freedom worldwide.

As the 2017 Freedom in the World report noted, last year marked the eleventh consecutive year of decline in global freedom. Across the world we’ve seen setbacks of civil, political, media and online freedoms. For those of us fighting to advance democracy and good governance, sometimes it feels like we’re due a Glengarry Glen Ross “coffee is for closers” type of speech. And with everything going on in the world, it’s easy to be disheartened or worried about the future.

That is, unless you’ve really had the opportunity to observe the next generation of leaders.

In 2017, through funding from the National Endowment of Democracy, IRI expanded its flagship youth program, Generation Democracy, from our programs in Europe and Africa, to Asia. Generation Democracy chose to expand to Asia as more than 60 percent of the world’s youth live in the region which translates to approximately 750 million young women and men (aka 10% of the planet!) This is an essential constituency for the future stability and democratic growth in the region.

Generation Democracy brought together the top 36 young leaders from 13 different countries, including Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam, to Bangkok for a weekend of leadership development.

Over the long weekend, these young leaders were able to speak with ambassadors, political consultants and development experts on the most challenging issues facing the region. They joined sessions on public speaking, fundraising, strategic goal setting, digital communications, and the role of youth in a global political economy.

The delegation we assembled included:

  • A young woman working to eradicate poverty through youth empowerment;
  • An editor for Bangladesh’s first foreign policy magazine;
  • The founder of a youth support center for rural communities in the Philippines, who happens to hold a joint MD-MBA,
  • Sustainable development consultants from Bangladesh, Burma, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia,
  • An elected member of parliament and former UN Peacekeeper,
  • A Program Officer for the Technical Secretariat Center of the Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee in Burma,
  • A UN communications officer,
  • The founder of an online media company,
  • An ASEAN Youth Ambassador,
  • The founder of an environment-protection startup, that has raised 1.5 million dollars in seed funding,
  • The deputy director of a social justice accelerator focused on workplace rights,
  • A regional English debate champion,
  • The founder of a vocational school specifically for women in post-conflict areas,
  • A project coordinator for 2030 Youth Force,
  • An anti-corruption activist,
  • An elected state assemblyman and rising political star,
  • The senior political officer for media and public affairs for a regional political party,
  • The founder of the Mongolian National Marketing Association,
  • The President of the Rural Women’s Network of Nepal,
  • A preschool teacher, public speaker, doctor, nutritionist consultant and published author (yes, this is one person),
  • A social media pioneer, journalist and online warrior fighting fake news,
  • A disaster risk prevention activist working with the UN and EU,
  • The founder of an environmental protection business accelerator,
  • A city councilman,
  • A youth delegate to the UN General Assembly,
  • Three founders of separate human rights campaigns,
  • An analyst for the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense,
  • Four activists working to prevent gender based violence, and
  • The founder of a national alliance for tobacco control.

In total, the group collectively holds:

  • 10 Master’s Degrees,
  • 3 Medical Degrees, and
  • Has founded 17 nonprofit organizations

Oh, and their ages range from 20 to 36 years old.

Are the challenges we face difficult and more complex than ever before? Yes. Will it take unprecedented levels of dedication, innovation, and manpower to overcome future challenges? Yes. Is the next generation up to the challenge? Yes.

And if Generation Democracy has anything to say about it, they’ll be more interconnected and prepared than any previous generation. Am I worried about the future? No.

We are 2030!

For the first time the world agreed that youth empowerment is a way to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This presents enormous opportunities and expectations on young people.

Emiliya Asadova is the UNV Regional (Asia-Pacific) Youth Programme Specialist in Bangkok, Thailand.(UNV, 2016)

For the first time the world agreed that youth empowerment is a way to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This presents enormous opportunities and expectations on young people. How can the UN support, empower and prepare youth to be the driving force for the SDGs? In Asia and the Pacific, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, jointly with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), are developing a regional partnership with and for youth to deliver on the SDGs by 2030.

In March 2016 we asked young change makers in the Asia and the Pacific region to send us video stories that articulate their vision of the future, along with examples of volunteer actions they are taking to make societies more inclusive and peaceful. An amazingly diverse group of 19 extremely brave young people from Asia and the Pacific were selected, and their work was an example of the great capacities of this generation.

Why? Some of these young people have learnt sign language to be able to work with youth with disabilities, and one of them created the Youth Diversity Alliance at the age of 22 in Indonesia. Another, amidst all the country’s challenges, started the first-ever food bank at the age of 25 in Vietnam to fight poverty and contribute to sustainable consumption. And finally, a young woman living with HIV in Nepal empowered young populations to raise their unheard voices, providing them with a platform for a strong unified voice.

We gathered this group for the first workshop “We Are 2030: Youth Driving Forward Inclusive and Peaceful Societies in Asia-Pacific” in Bangkok in June 2016. Through youth-led sessions on regional development challenges, conflict prevention and inclusion, the group agreed that through volunteerism young people can achieve more and “leave no one behind”.

Some members realized only at the workshop that they are in fact volunteers in everything they do as social advocates and activists, but there is still a lack of skills-based volunteerism, a lack of understanding of volunteerism in the region, and a need for cross-border volunteer exchanges, for “offline” impact of volunteerism and for better measuring of volunteer activities.

The workshop culminated with the unquestioning willingness of youth to work together on difficult topics related to inclusion. It was clear that these young people were demanding a space for regional action, and UNV and UNDP welcomed it and will continue to provide support.

In the presence of numerous partners and supporters, the Regional Asia-Pacific Youth Network was launched. Young change makers chose “2030 Youth Force” as an empowering name for the network. Armed with knowledge on inclusive and peaceful societies, they presented regional and country-level youth-led activities targeted at the SDGs. As a first step and in order to raise awareness and attract more young people to this movement of inclusion and change, the group plans to launch a massive campaign in social media under the hashtag #sendloveON, addressed to other young people in the region to act in their communities and share stories of change.

My greatest learning from the workshop was that young people need a common space and opportunities to drive the SDGs in the next 15 years, and they have all the skills and capacities to do so. Inviting them to be at a table to take part in discussions of national development plans or localization of the SDGs is all that it takes.

Emiliya Asadova is the UNV Regional (Asia-Pacific) Youth Programme Specialist in Bangkok, Thailand.