By Dr Rajendra Shende, Chairman TERRE Policy Centre, Former Direct UNEP
‘Generation Unlimited’ is 3.5 billion in number but with boundless enthusiasm. They are youth between age 10 and 24. ” Without harnessing the energy, tech savvy optimism of young people, the world has no hope of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or the Paris Agreement on climate change” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said. He was talking on connecting Half the World to the full of Opportunities.
3.5 billion members, nearly half of the world population, need to be reached with quality education, that must include world-class digital solutions, on-line learning, on-line sharing and getting skilled.
In one of the striking statement United Nations Secretary General Secretary admitted, “My generation has failed to respond properly to the global challenges we face.”
Mr. Guterres added that that before the pandemic, one-fifth of young people were not in employment or in education or training. One-third of them now lack access to remote learning. Children from the poorest households and those in rural areas are the most likely to be left behind.
There is a talk about investing in various industry segments post-COVID for kicking-off the economy. However the more investment in digital learning and training for young people is essential for building social cohesion, reducing the inequities accelerating the progress towards SDGs.
10-years countdown for 2030 agenda of ‘leaving no one behind has begun. With a decade left to achieve the SDGs, strengthening the links across sectors and rallying the investment over the next year is necessary.
Young people themselves must be at the forefront, making decisions and bringing their problem-solving skills to address the world’s most serious problems.
The global network of colleges and universities is being built by TERRE Policy Centre through its flagship project of Smart Campus Cloud Network, SCCN in short. It is a tool specially developed for ‘Generation Unlimited’ for building digital resources and networks to help young people to learn by doing and understand by sharing. Its goal is to help every young person – regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, sex or ability – access the Internet and opportunities for contributing to achieving SDGs.
UNESCO and other agencies are partnering with SCCN to enable scale-up of innovations. In UN@75 year, 90 universities and colleges, including those in rural area, are now part of the network. SCCN is now ready to take the work at higher level. (sccnhub.com).