YK Poudel

To reinforce the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development and striving to eradicate poverty in times of crisis, eight Bhutanese youth took part in the Asia-Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development—the three days event ended last week.

The youth participants from Bhutan are members of Y-PEER Bhutan and Y-PEER Asia Pacific Center.

The programme held in Bangkok, Thailand was held after the nation wise pre-discussion. Over 450 participants from 36 countries attended the programme and took part in developing call to action with youth-recommendations on advancing the 2030 agenda.

Bhutanese youth took part in discussion and panel sessions—working on the progress towards SD goal 1 (no poverty), goal 2 (zero hunger), goal 5 (gender equality and SRHR), goal 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions), goal 17 (partnership for the goals), 13 (climate action) SDGs in the Asia Pacific region-with young people at the forefront of SD. It was designed to interrogate how young people can be effective partners in advancing SDG13 progress.

Rinchen Niksum Dorji, a virtual participant, said that the APFSD Youth Forum provided a platform for young leaders from diverse backgrounds converged to amplify their voices. “It allowed the participants to exchange ideas and co-create solutions for a more sustainable future,” she said. “The forum has empowered us to become agents of change in our communities.”

International Core Member of Y-PEER Asia Pacific Center, Bhawana Pradhan, said that the forum provided a safe space for diverse nationalities, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds where everyone was recognized and appreciated. “This year, more focus was given to the innovative initiatives happening both nationally and regionally where they showcased creative campaigns and projects on the field of SRHR, gender equality and climate action,” she said.

The APFSD-youth forum 2024 was organized by Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW), Youth LEAD, Y-PEER Asia Pacific Centre, and the Major Group for Children and Youth, in partnership with the Right Here Right Now Global Partnership, Asia Pacific Regional CSOs Engagement Mechanism (APRCEM) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), and in co-collaboration with the Children and Youth Major Group to UNEP.