13 February 2018: Recent initiatives highlight youth partnerships with UN organizations, and youth involvement in a variety of areas linked to the SDGs, including livelihoods, governance, the environment and water.

UN-Habitat announced that it will partner with the National Youth Council of Russia in developing programmes and policies that address the issues of livelihoods and engagement in governance. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is expected to be signed during the 9th Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF 9), taking place from 7-13 February 2018, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The MoU should be followed by a joint work plan that will address common issues between the two organizations. The National Youth Council of Russia was established in 1992, and comprises more than 60 youth organizations.

Also on the sidelines of WUF 9, the Secretary-General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), Ahmad Alhendawi, and UN Environment (UNEP) Executive Director Erik Solheim renewed their partnership on the environment, signing a MoU on further collaboration. The MoU’s signing took place ten years after the launch of the in 2008. UNEP will help ensure that the WOSM’s ten-year-old World Scout Environment Programme (WSEP) is aligned with the SDGs. The partnership will tackle plastic marine litter, and Scouts will be encouraged to undertake projects that help address the multi-dimensional threats facing the marine environment as part of the UNEP #CleanSeas campaign. It will also develop educational materials on disaster risk reduction (DRR) for children and young people. WOSM is a confederation of 169 National Scout Organizations in a network of over 50 million Scouts in at least 224 countries and territories worldwide.

In the lead-up to the 8th World Water Forum, convening from 18-23 March 2018, in Brazil, the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) organized an event linking water and youth. The event, involving 100 high school students from 15 Italian schools, called on students to work in teams and, in collaboration with teachers and UN World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) experts, to elaborate a ‘Water Youth Declaration.’ The Declaration will be presented at the World Water Forum. The MIUR event took place from 6-7 February 2018, at the WWAP Secretariat in Italy. [UN-Habitat Press Release on UN-Habitat-National Youth Council of Russia partnership] [UNEP Press Release on MoU with WOSM] [UNESCO Press Release on MIUR Initiative]