Filipinos in Baguio City have their say on MY World

Philippines

On 23-27 February 2015, Ms. Rubeliza Castañeda, a volunteer with the World Youth Foundation collected 50 offline votes in the community where she live at Baguio City, Cordillera Administrative Region and this is her story:

“I started the survey on 23rd February 2015 with my family and some of neighbors. Then, I conducted my planned door-to-door survey in my community. Unfortunately, it was harder than I expected. A lot of people were reluctant to participate. Some were busy and didn’t want to be disturbed while some were simply uninterested. Fortunately, there were FIFTY people who were gracious enough to spare their time and shared their voices. Although they didn’t know what the Millennium Development Goals are nor how they were developed, they are now part of the new development agenda that is coming alive. It was true that I didn’t reach my target of collecting 500 votes but I had learned a lot from this unforgettable experience. I hope all of the 50 wonderful people will think they have made the right choices when they recall back the day they took they survey.”

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Honoring HE Dr. Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka

photo_1_360Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 – New York

On the second floor of the UN Church Center, which serves at the location for the monthly NGO Committee on Sustainable Development meeting, the World We Want 2015 team and Policy Strategy Group, presented its first ever award for “People’s Voices Champion” to H.E. Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations.

This award was created to wish Ambassador Kohona a fond farewell as his term here at the United Nations comes to an end. It was also to recognize his career long dedication to the inclusion of global citizens, specifically youth, to use their skills to strengthen the processes within the United Nations system. Amongst this lifetime of achievements, Ambassador Kohona’s pledge to engage 1 Million youth voices in the MY World 2015 survey, stands as the single highest effort by any MY World partner to exclusively engage youth, and serves as a great example of how youth can meaningfully be included, in the MDG and SDG process.

This historic certificate was endorsed by Ms. Margo LaZaro & Ms. Yvonne O’Neal, the Co-Chairs of the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development Executive Board; along with Mr. Ravi Karkara & Ms. Rosa Lizarde, UN and Civil Society Representatives along with Co-Chairs respectively, of  the World We Want 2015 Policy Strategy Group.

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Mr. Juan Chebly the World We Want 2015 Coordinator, and Mr. Austin Schiano the World We Want 2015 Coordination Associate, were also able to present the United Nations Millennium Campaign’s “7 Million Voices Report” to several influential figure. The report includes the results of the Millennium Campaign’s vast global outreach to both citizens and their governments. They presented the report to Ambassador Mary Flores Flake of Honduras; Ambassador Caleb Otto of Palau; Patrick Sciarratta, Adviser to the Mission of Sao Tome and Principe and the Executive Director of Friendship Ambassadors Foundation; and last but certainly not least, Ornesha Reagan with the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

This ceremonial presentation occurred at the culmination of what was an enlightening conversation by several of the presenters on the virtues and developments being made in regard to eco-tourism. It included the efforts which are being steadfastly undertaken to ensure that the natural beauty of this world can be enjoyed by all, including preventing the exploitation of, or danger to, flora and fauna by visiting individuals. From the ancient temples that nurtured Buddhist philosophy and untouched forests of Sri-Lanka, to the magnanimous reefs and marine life off the coast of Honduras, this was truly a beautiful and enlightening discussion.  It was especially touching to hear the presenting Ambassadors express and describe the unmatched heritage and geography of their homeland, creating a personal connection that is rarely present in ministerial discussion.

The World We Want 2015 recognizes the fantastic efforts and dedication of the NGO Committee for planning this event, and looks forward to the future promotion of other such congratulations.  It is precisely this sort of event, which allows for us to complete the crucial task of ensuring that the voices of citizens, are brought to their representatives.

-Blog by Austin Schiano, World We Want Coordination Associate

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ECOSOC Youth Forum

The ECOSOC Youth Forum brought young people from around the globe to come together to discuss ways in which young people can and are helping to manage the shift from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The forum also addressed ways to ensure that the needs and priorities of all youth are at the center of the future development agenda and its implementation. It was a platform for youth to engage in dialogue with Member States and contribute to policy formulation on economic and social aspects.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses the forum
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses the forum

The forum consisted of a number of speakers and panels that spoke about these issues, and then there were occasionally follow-up breakout sessions and interactive discussions to give young people in attendance the opportunity to voice their opinions. In these sessions, notes were made to ensure that the necessary UN representative members and staff heard young people’s opinions. Additionally, young people could bring back what they learned from the forum to their organizations around the world, specifically sharing new ideas for how youth can be engaged in the future SDGs.

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MY World was a strong focal point for the opening event because it gives young people the ability voice their vote and become engaged in the future SDGs. Through this simple survey, national representatives can see what their people are voting for as their priority and compare it to the world populations’ results. In his opening remarks, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon commented that, “Seven million people responded to the UN’s My World survey. Seventy percent of them were under the age of 30. The input of youth has been crucial to developing the next generation of sustainable development goals. Young people’s views were reflected in my synthesis report on the post-2015 agenda. I proposed a set of six elements that are critical to sustainable development: Dignity, People, Prosperity, Planet, Partnership and Justice. All of these matter to youth.”

An amazing and inspiring video by a high school girl highlighted the importance of the MY World survey and youth engagement in the next round of SDGs. The video was presented to the entire youth forum at the end of final remarks. Be sure to share the video with your friends and family so they understand the importance of the MY World survey and the SDGs:

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Towards a Transformative Post-2015 Agenda.

New York – Winter 2015

Mitchell Toomey, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign at the United Nations Development Program, spoke on a panel titled, “Towards a Transformative Post-2015 Agenda.” The goal of the panel was to inspire intergovernmental post-2015 negotiations with concrete concepts, tools and campaigns for integration of resources (such as: finance, knowledge, workforce, social energy) of global citizens and local communities. Additional panelists included representatives from International Association for the Advancement of Innovative Approaches to Global Challenges (IAAI), Junior Chamber International (JCI), UN Habitat, and UN Women.

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Mr. Toomey spoke about the MY World survey and the importance of the data it aggregates. All of the data, which is available online in an open and interactive format, demonstrates what over 7 million members of civil society thinks are the most important issues the UN should address. According to Mr. Toomey, “The top votes show that the basic Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are still unmet.” Currently, the top three most voted issues are: “A good education,” “Better healthcare,” and “Better job opportunities.”

One specific focus for the panel was how to get youth engaged in the completion of the current MDGs and goal-setting for future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 2015 is a pivotal year in which the MDGs will be wrapped up and assessed and the SDGs will be established– but will the needs and values of all of civil society be heard? What about those who have little political, economic, or social power, such as children and youth?

Toomey event

Nearly 80% of respondents to the MY World survey are under the age of 30, with approximately three-quarters (75%) of those respondents ages 16-30. In addition, many of the volunteers who collected the nearly 6 million votes offline were young people. This outreach is extremely important for the localization of the goals in the next process. As Arrey Obenson, from JCI pointed out: “Successful projects involve communities & concentrate on solving local problems not replicating solutions.” At http://data.myworld2015.org/ anyone can see the aggregated data to learn more about the world that youth want.

As Vivian Onano, a Kenyan Youth Advocate from UN Women who spoke on the panel, pointed out, “More than 50% of youth in Africa are illiterate.” While the MDGs have helped to increase enrollment in primary school to nine out of every ten children in the world, the MY World results suggest that access to quality education, including and beyond primary, remains a global priority– and a particular priority for children and youth. The MY World survey gives everyone a chance to have their voices heard during this pivotal time. Share the results with your representative on Twitter and talk with your family, friends, and colleagues about why this survey is so important!

Watch the recording of the session here:

Building Bridges kicked off! From Amsterdam to Cape Town #BB2015UN

bb2Building Bridges kicked off in The Netherlands! From now until August, Jilt van Schayik (UN Youth Representative for The Netherlands) and Teun Meulepas will be cycling from Amsterdam to Cape Town. During this six month bike tour, they will cross 20 countries and over 15,000km (over 9,000 miles) to hear stories and collect MY World votes.

From the vast deserts of the Sahara to the central highlands of Namibia, from rural communities to crowded metropolises, and everywhere in between, Jilt & Teun want to connect with young people on the ground, share stories and inspire one another to make changes for the world we want. The duo have teamed up with youth representatives from every country who will be organizing events around their arrival to spread the word about MY World as the voice of the public to the UN. They will take photographs for Humans of MY World, gather MY World votes, and organize forums with young people. They will try to answer the question: “How do young people at the grassroots level envision the world in 2030?” ‪

2015 is an important time to activate the voices of the public to ensure that the sustainable development goals reflect the people’s needs and interests. As we look at the outcomes of the Millennium Development Goals, which come to a close on December 31, 2015, will the public feel that their governments made great strides in areas such as gender equality, sanitation, and the environment? What are the areas of continued need? These questions can only be answered by asking the people and sharing their votes and their voices.

Connect with Building Bridges

These young men have long road ahead of them! Follow their adventure and show your support between now an August. Connect on Twitter with #bb2015UN and on Facebook at Humans of MY World & Building Bridges!

Building Bridges & MY World was featured on Dutch television!

MY World - Human Formation with 500+ Children

JCI India Hosts Aeromodelling Show to Collect MY World Votes

From JCI India

The 1st phase of the MY WORLD awareness launch was done during the Trade & Fun Fair of JCI Ankleshwar – an Annual event that has been held for last 12 years. The event was launched by Imm. Past President of JCI India Deepak Nahar, in the presence of 5000 people in Ankleshwar, India. Attendees included children and adults from all different walks of life, as well as community leaders such as Zone President of Gujarat Hemal Shah, Ankleshwar Industries Association President Chandresh Devani, President of JCI Ankletshwar Dhiren Shah, Project Chairman Sangita Nahar and other dignitaries present.

In order to draw attention to the importance of MY World as a means of engaging the public in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and to create the World We Want, we planned an innovative way to attract attention to our event – by organizing an Educational Aeromodelling show. During an aeromodelling show, model planes are flown to demonstrate the aerodynamics of a standard plane. These kinds of shows are exciting and captivating– a great way to bring the community together!

The Ladies Wing and the Junior JCI Wings of JCI Ankleshwar took up the responsibility of organizing the Educational Aeromodelling Show. To cover the cost of the Show, we sought sponsorship from local business houses, companies, banks and jewellers.  Special thank you to our sponsors, including: Garden City Resorts, Paras Jewellers, and Lupin Chemicals Ltd. Tickets for the show were sold through students in 15 schools of Ankleshwar. Students from several schools, were children of Industry workers are studying, were allowed free.

On the day of the show, 500+ students formed a human “MY WORLD” (see photo above). During the show, the importance of putting across our voices to create the World We want was announced to all the 5000+ people gathered, majority of them students. A My World stall allowed spectators to vote offline on pre-printed ballots. We also displayed cards of all the 16 priorities as well as a MY World – JCI Banner. To get the attention of all the media and press, a MY World-JCI Banner was towed behind one of the Miniature Airplanes to fly up in the Sky. The event was covered in Gujarati state channels like TV9 Gujarati, GSTV and in local News papers! 

The teachers of the school have agreed to conduct the survey during their classes. We have now also requested few schools to come up with volunteers who would like to go to the nearby villages to collect rural votes. We are planning to print the survey forms in local language – Gujarati for collecting rural votes. This shall be completed by March. The students and teachers are excited to be part of the worlds largest global survey to create the World We Want!

Flagging Off The Show

MY World featured in UNDP Report: Achieving Development Results in Asia and the Pacific

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UNDP has launched its Asia-Pacific Regional Report ‘Achieving Development Results in Asia and the Pacific’, highlighting a string of successful programmes implemented in 2013 and 2014, and also featuring MY World results in the region.

Responsive governments was voted among the highest priorities for a better future – along with education and healthcare – by the almost 3 million Asia-Pacific participants in the MY World Survey.

Citizens in the Asia-Pacific region constitute almost half of the 7 million people who followed the UN Secretary-General’s call for an inclusive process to define a new transformative development agenda which will be adopted by Member States in September.

See MY World Asia-Pacific findings on pages 41-42 of the report

Collecting offline ballots from Millennials in China

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Blog post by Ms. Chen, World Youth Foundation Volunteer in China. On 15-16 January, Ms. Chen collected 164 offline ballots at the school where she grew up in Jiangxi Province. 

Today I went to the school in my hometown that I attended 14 yrs ago, promoting the MY World 2015 Survey as an alumna of China’s Millennium Generation. When I walked into the classroom, the students looked at me with their dazzling eyes full of curiosity. They were all born in the year 2000, sharing the same age with current Millennium Development Goals. Although they didn’t know what the Millennium Development Goals are nor how they were developed, they are now part of the new development agenda that is coming alive. Should any of them recall the day they took the survey and what they prioritized, by any chance, many years from now, I hope they will think they have made the right choices.

Data cut of all World Youth Foundation votes from China (data.myworld2015.org/?partner=wrldyth):

China Votes Data 1.27

 

Of the total number of Chinese voters in the MY World Survey (18,947 voters), “Protecting forests, rivers and oceans” is drastically higher than the global results, currently ranked 4th instead of 14th. The majority of Chinese voters, or 70%, are youth aged 16-30, who rank it fifth. The 4% of voters who are children 15 and under ranked this as their second priority, similar to Ms. Chen’s results.

Data cut of all votes from China (data.myworld2015.org/?country=China):

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Advocating for ‘Action Taken On Climate Change’ at COP 20

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UNDP Administrator, Helen Clarke, with MYWorld Youth Advocate at the 2014 Global Landscape Forum

Countries came together last month at COP 20, the annual UN Climate Change Conference, to negotiate and shape the contribution they will give to vastly reduce their carbon emissions, before a commitment in Paris.

Peru hosted the conference that drew over 15,000 people to Lima. Peru will be one of the countries most affected by climate change impacts. Responsible for only 0.1% of emissions, Peru will see the greatest temperature rise due to climate change in South America. The 18,000 Peruvians who have voted on the MY World survey prioritizes ‘Action taken on Climate Change’ much higher than the global average at 11th place and ‘Protecting Forests, Rivers and Oceans’ at 4th place.

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Ceremonial Opening of the Youth Conference. Panelists included UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiane Figueres, COP 20 President, Mr. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal and UN Millennium Campaign representative, Holly Borday

Ahead of COP 20, 1,000 young people from around the world championed solutions to climate change at the annual Youth Conference on Climate.

COP 20 President, Mr. Manuel Pulgar Vidal, opened the Youth conference telling youth:

“You are a climate change solutions generation. Young people are characterized by their enthusiasm, leadership and passion. All these elements are fundamental for addressing climate change and moving the intergovernmental negotiation process forward. I encourage you to continue implementing climate solutions, enhancing access to information, promoting public awareness, raising ambition and mobilizing action.”

 

UN Millennium Campaign representative, Holly Borday with MY World Youth Advocates Rosario Garavito and Carlo Andre collecting votes at the Youth Conference
UN Millennium Campaign representative, Holly Borday with MY World Youth Advocates Rosario Garavito and Carlo Andre collecting votes at the Youth Conference
Voters!
MY World Voters
Indigenous groups attended the UN Climate Conference to make their experiences and insights to the climate crisis known to the world
Indigenous groups attended the UN Climate Conference to make their experiences and insights to the climate crisis known to the world. Among the youth participants were MY World Youth Advocates who collected hundreds of votes during the conference including the recipient of the MY World’s 2014 Annual Volunteerism Award, The Millennials Movement and the Peruvian Down Syndrome Society.

 

Throughout the UN Climate Change Conference, voters raised their voices on ‘Action Taken on Climate’ and many other linked issues through the MY World Survey. MY World votes came from the Indigenous peoples pavilion which was featured at the Voices for Climate and showcased initiatives and knowledge from indigenous communities that contribute to curbing climate change.

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At the Global Landscape Forum , UNDP Administrator Helen Clarke voiced her priority on ‘Action taken on Climate’ and spoke of the linkage between deforestation and climate change during the Forum’s closing speech.

Peruvian UN Volunteers and MY World partners such as The Millennials Movement, the Peruvian Down Syndrome Society as well as global MY World partners like YOUTHINK and IAAI/GloCha Action Network were part the success of bringing voices into the post-2015 development agenda from the international climate change community.

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COP20 Side event on Youth Climate Action featuring representatives from the UN Millennium Campaign Anand Kantaria and Holly Borday with MYWorld Partners, YOUTHINK and IAAI/GloCha Action Network.

 

COP20 was a key moment to work together and bring ‘Action Taken on Climate Change’   to the attention of leaders who develop policy priorities and engage the broader population in action related to international climate policy.

Useful Links:

 

Compiled by Holly Borday, MY Green World Project Associate 

 

Today’s ‘Ask An Expert’!

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Today’s ‘Ask An Expert featured the new UN Millennium Campaign Executive Director, Mitchell Toomey, in answering questions regarding the topic: Here comes everyboday: Direct citizen engagement in the new development agenda 

Today’s ‘Ask an Expert’ is an exercise hosted by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) which aims to bring the environment into public consciousness and to create a healthy discourse on the major issues that affect the health of our planet and the sustainability of natural resources. The feature allows in-house experts to discuss the work undertaken by the organization – taking on board suggestions and perspectives of international constituents and stakeholders.