African Youth SDGs Summit > Youth > An Open Letter to World Leaders on International Youth Day

An Open Letter to World Leaders on International Youth Day

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Signatories to the letter include activists such as Founder of the Five Foundation Nimco Ali, Indian feminist Trisha Shetty, Amika George, founder of the award winning #FreePeriods campaign, South African disability rights advocate Eddie Ndopu and UN young leader for the SDGs Joannie Bewa.

The letter has also received the backing of major international organisations such as the ONE campaign, Global Citizen and Restless Development and global leaders including the Chair of the Elders, Mary Robinson and Edna Ismail Aden, Former Foreign Minister of Somaliland and Founder of the Edna Adan University and Hospital.

With 10 years left to deliver the Global Goals for Sustainable Development – agreed to by every nation in 2015- campaigners have urged leaders to set out a clear ‘2020 Vision’ by backing young people and listening to the solutions they offer. The letter makes three key demands focused on investment, accountability and solidarity between global campaigners on different issues.

The letter comes at a critical moment ahead of the upcoming G7 Summit in Biarritz and the United Nations General Assembly in September, where leaders will meet to discuss the world’s most pressing issues including at the SDG summit, the first since the Global Goals were agreed in 2015.

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Dear World Leaders

We are writing on International Youth Day to demand a more urgent “2020 Vision” from you, by offering it up ourselves.

The global population of young people is rising and so are the issues we face together. In the next decade, the World Bank estimates 600 million young people entering the job market will not find jobs; and climate change will continue to adversely affect developing countries, where 90% of young people live. This is an emergency for people and planet.

If we do not together ensure a Decade of Delivery for the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, from 2020 to 2030, we will together live with decades of disastrous consequences into the 21st century.

We stand ready to help partner and fix these failures, but young people’s voices and priorities are often side-lined and their solutions ignored. Please hear us now as we make these demands:

  1. Young people are our present and our future, and this future needs investment – a basic level of financing for our health, education, empowerment and resilience in the face of climate change. Experts estimate this investment costs a minimum of $300 per person per year in the lowest income countries.
  2. To translate Global Goals to local results we need to be able to have the freedom and space and voice to freely track these funds, to “follow the money” – through open budgets and open contracts through to collecting data on outcomes – to ensure it gets where it is needed and is delivering real local results.
  3. We call on campaigners and concerned citizens around the world – environmental justice, social justice, gender justice, inequality and anti-corruption activists – to unite and together demand a course correction for people and planet.

Young people are organising for impact when leaders meet at their big global gatherings this year and next. Together we must demonstrate a dramatic course correction. Leaders must hear us and, in partnership, act with us. Follow this link to add your name. 

Signed by 

Abdoul Aziz Traore Chair, Suudu Andal, Burkino Faso

Abdoulaye ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Abdoulaye Sow, One Champion, Sénégal

Aboubacrine, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Abubakar Mohammed, Nigeria

Accountability Lab, Global

Adelle Onyango, CEO Adelle Onyango, Kenya

Adenike Bamigbade, Programme Associate, Step Up for Social Development and Empowerment in Nigeria, Nigeria

Afreen Naaz, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

Ahmadou Bamba Diop, One Champion, Sénégal

Aichata, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Aissata, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Akpem Terese Shadrach, Founder, Youths With a Future Initiative, Nigeria

Alex Causton-Ronaldson, Youth Stop Aids Campaigner, UK

Alex Holmes, Diana Award and Queens Young Leader, UK

Alfred Matsimbe, Athandizi, Malawi

Aliou Amadou, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Amadagaly Ibrahim Maiga, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Amani al-Khatahtbeh, Founder and Editor-in-chief of, USA

Amika George, Founder of #FreePeriods, UK

Aminata, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Angelin Jenifer, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

Aniekan Ekpenyong, Director for Africa, Global Health Focus, Nigeria

Anita Kube, She Films Africa, South Africa

Anyinge Norine, Uganda

Ashok Bisunke, Nepal

Arrey Obenson, JCI Secretary General

Awis Pant, Student, Nepal

Becca Hawkins, Climate Change Campaigner, UK

Benedicta Dawson-Amoah Youth Think Tank, Ghana

Benjamin Feist, Youth Stop Aids Campaigner, UK

Blessing Omakwu-Soremekun, Founder, The She Tank

Boboye Adeniji Oluwafemi, Project Lead, Youth Be Inspired Initiative, Nigeria

Boukary, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Boutimelo Zwane Commission for Gender Equality, National Independent Human Rights Institution, South Africa

Brehima, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Canon Felix, Menya Foundation, Gitega-Burundi

Carla Home, Youth Stop Aids Campaigner, UK

Carlos Sanvee, Secretary General, World Alliance of YMCAs, Global

Caitlin O’Donoghue, United Kingdom

Chaimae Bourjij, Founder of Youth SDG Action Project and Winner of the ‘Mobilizer Award’ by UN SDG Action Campaign (2018), Morocco

Charlotte Musgrove, UK

Cheikna, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Christian Vanizette, Co-founder, Make Sense, France

Chansa Innocent Youth Think Tank Researcher and Innovations Lead & Programs ChEDIC InnovaTions Hub, Zambia

Cuthbert Mukora, Head of Programmes, Rural Enterprise Trust of Zimbabwe (Goalkeeper Youth Action Accelerator), Zimbabwe

Dalila DOSSOU, ONE Youth Champion, Sénégal

Damilare Oyedele, Cofounder, Library Aid Africa, Nigeria

Dannika Calyon, Youth Activist, Australia

Danyal Hayat, Head of International Department – Cecos University Peshawar, Pakistan

David Watson Mwabila, Dytech, Zambia

Diakalia M, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Dilip Kumar Sharma, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

Dominic Cowell, Youth Stop Aids Campaigner, UK

Dr Edna Adnan Ismail, Founder, Edna Adnan University and Hospital, Somaliland

Dr. Joannie Marlene BEWA, “Physician & Public Health Specialist

Founder, Young Beninese Leaders Association (YBLA)

United Nations Young Leaders for the SDGs,” Benin Republic

Dumisani Kaliati, Founder and CEO, MicroMek Ltd (Goalkeeper Youth Action Accelerator), Malawi

Dzikunu, Richard Mawutor, Youth Power Global Leader, Winner of 2018 United Nations Action Campaign Awards, Ghana

Ebenezer Wikina,

Edward (Eddie) Ndopu, Member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advocacy Group for the SDGs, South Africa

Elizabeth Glaser, Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Emmanuel Ametepy, Convenor, African Youth SDGs Summit, and UNDP 16×16 Global Youth Leader, Ghana

Fabienne Rafidiharinirina, Founder, Madagascar Initiatives for Digital Innovation (Goalkeeper Youth Action Accelerator), Madagascar

Faith Kaoma, Restless Development, Zambia

Fatuma Likwawite, Youth Accountability Advocate, Tanzania

Fouzy Mathey, Cofounder, YES For Humanity, Nigeria

Francis Ametepy, Ghana Students Accountability Network, Ghana

Georgie Wallis, Youth Stop Aids Campaigner, UK

Global Citizen Global

Hammed Kayode Alabi, Executive Director, Kayode Alabi Leadership and Career Initiative (KLCI), Nigeria

Hamzat Lawal, Follow The Money via Connected Development [CODE], Nigeria

Helena Cartee, Student, United Kingdom

Helena Leonard, Women Deliver Young Leader, Namibia

Hercules Jim, Consultative Implementation and Monitoring and Council, Papua New Guinea

Holly Kennett, Partnerships Coordinator, Restless Development

Ibrahim Batambuze, Reach A Hand, Uganda

Ibrahima, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Ibrahim Muhammad Shamsuddin,Country Coordinator, Break-Free Plastic Movement Nigeria

Idrisse, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Ilwad Ali, Director of Programs & Development for the Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre, Canada/Somalia

Inota Cheta, Youth Power Global Leader and Director SHE Entrepreneur, Zambia

Isaac Ezirim, Founder, Teens Can Code, Nigeria

Ivan Kasonko, Key Populations Uganda, Uganda

Jagriti Rani, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

Jainish Vig, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

Jay Prakash, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

Jerry Azilinon, ONE Youth Champion, Sénégal

Jevanic Henry, YCCA, Saint Lucia

Joel Naluwairo, Founder of Millennium Corps Uganda, Uganda

Jonathan Harper FRSA, Chief Executive Officer, Future Foundations, UK

Joshua Alade, Project Coordinator, Nigerian Youth SDGs Network, Nigeria

Juan Carlos Monterrey, Director, The Center for Climate Resilient Development & Technology (Climate Resilient), Panama

Judith Kitinga, Youth Accountability Advocate, Tanzania

juma Osman, YouthAdvocate, Uganda Youth Coalition on Adolescent SRHR & HIV

Katie Fuhs, Youth Leadership Council Member, Global Fund for Children, USA

Kennedy Odede, President & CEO, Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), Kenya

Kia, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Kisirisa Muhammed, AFFCAD, Uganda

krishna Sharma, Women Deliver Young Leader, Nepal

Laura Ulloa, Peace activist and writer, Colombia

Lewis Wilkinson, Youth Stop Aids Campaigner, UK

Maeve O’Reilly, Youth Activist, Ireland

Mahamadou, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Mamadou, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Mamadou Adama Diallo, ONE Youth Champion, Sénégal

Manish Saini, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

Mariam, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Marie Jeanne Andre DIOUF, ONE Youth Champion, Sénégal

Marlou Cornelissen, CEO, World Merit, UK

Marwa, UN Women Gender Agora, Morocco

Mary Robinson, Chair of the Elders, Ireland

Memory Banda, Let Girls Lead and the Girl Empowerment Network of Malawi, Malawi

Michael Mwangoka, Restless Development Tanzania

Mme Konaté Ami, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Molly Pugh-Jones, Youth Stop Aids Campaigner, UK

Mohamad Danial Hakim Yazid Timothy, Student, Malaysia

Mohammed Bayero Yayandi, Community Champion Follow The Money. Nigeria

Moneera Yassien, AMNA Organisation, Sudan

Moussa Salif, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Mputa Ngalande, SRHR Activist, Zambia

Mthobisi Simelane, Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Muleta Kapatiso, Friends of Inmates , Zambia

Nadege S. Uwamahoro, Youth Stop Aids Campaigner, Denmark

Nandini Tanya Lallmon, Founder and Chairperson, International Youth Council Mauritius Chapter

Napoleón García, Youth Director, Nuestro Tiempo and Censura Cero, Mexico

Ndagire Moreen Maria, Student, Uganda

Niamoye, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Nikhil Taneja, Co-Founder and CEO, Yuvaa,

Nikita Khanna, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

Nimco Ali, Co-founder and CEO of The Five Foundation, UK

Nishchhal Kharal, CEO, Idea Ghar, Nepal

NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, USA

Okore Scheaffer, Vice-chairperson of Ukweli party, Kenya

One Young World

Ousmane, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Oscar Atura, Student, Ghana

Patrick Karekezi, Youth Think Tank Researcher, Uganda

Penda, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Perry Maddox, CEO, Restless Development, US

Poppy Bullen, Communications Officer, Restless Development, UK

Pooja Kapahi, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

Preeti Singh, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

Primrose Manyalo, Restless Development Youth Power Coordinator, Zimbabwe

Priscilla Nyaaba, Ag. Executive Director, Youth Harvest Foundation (Goalkeeper Youth Action Accelerator), Ghana

Priyanka Rajendram, Co-founder of Girlsplained, Singapore

Project Everyone, Global

Purity Kagwiria, Feminist and Girls Rights champion, Executive Director @ Akili Dada, Kenya

Qabale Duba, Qabale Duba Foundation, Kenya

Rahim Abas Kiobya, CEO and Founder, Geospatial Tanzania LTD (Goalkeeper Youth Action Accelerator), Tanzania

Raja Rabbi Hussain, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

Rajshree Sharma, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

Restless Development, Global

Ria Sharma, Founder Make Love Not Scars, Anti acid and women’s rights activist and author

Ritu Jain, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

Ronard Fharldines, FEMINA HIP, Tanzania

Rosie Oakley, Youth Stop Aids Campaigner, UK

Ruhimbana Muzamil, Entrepreneur, Rwanda

Rwendeire Peniel, Chairman of the Board, Network for Active Citizens, Uganda

Sabrina Yasmin Rafel, Co-founder of Girlsplained, UK

Saffran Mihnar, Youth Power Global Leader and Director for Development and Communication, Earth Lanka, Sri Lanka

Sahana Afreen, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

Sané Mariam, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Sasssoumah Berethé, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Scarlett Curtis, Activist, writer, journalist, and blogger, UK

Sean Awali, Executive Director of Triumph Uganda, Uganda

Semiye Michael, Founder: DEAN Initiative, Nigeria

Seyi Akiwowo, Founder if Glitch

Shane Dooner, Youth Stop Aids Campaigner, UK

Sobel Aziz Ngom, “E.D at Social Change Factory

Sohanur Rahman, YouthNet for climate justice

Swaliho M. Fofana, Executive Director YouthAid Liberia, Liberia

Board Member at Generation Unlimited,” Senegal

Soîbou, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Sophie Norman, Youth Stop Aids Campaigner, UK

Souleymane, ONE Youth Champion, Mali

Starr Wattam, waitress, netherlands

Sulaima Ramadan, IMPACT, Palestine

Sunidhi Kant, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

Swastika, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

TN Gnawali, Nepal

The ONE Campaign, Global

Thirukumar Premakumar, Founder of International Youth Alliance for Peace, Sri Lanka

Thobias Komba, Youth Accountability Advocate, Tanzania

Towett Ngetich, CEO, Uthabiti Health (Goalkeeper Youth Action Accelerator)

Towera Msiska, Pakachere IHDC, Malawi

Trisha Shetty, Founder, SheSays India, India

UnJaded Jade, Vlogger and Restless Development volunteer, UK

Valarie Musavi, PIPE, Kenya

Veronica Mwisa, Restless Development Volunteer, Tanzania

Vibhu Sharma, Global Board Member at Generation Unlimited

Victoria Ibiwoye, Youth Power Global Leader and Director, OneAfricanChild, Nigeria

Vidhant Jain, Youth Accountability Advocate, India

WAGGGS, Global

Wendy Musonda, Youth Think Tank Researcher, Zambia

Winnie Adur, Girls Advocacy Alliance, National Gender Advocate and Policy Analyst Restless Uganda

Ysabel Vargas, International Youth Council-Pilipinas. Philippines

Yvonne Ochieng, Nzumari Africa. Kenya

Zanele Mabaso, Sonke Gender Justice, South Africa

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