Strong partnership with youths important to achieve SDGs: UK envoy
British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson on Thursday said it is important to ensure a strong partnership with the youth for attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"We've got 2030 agenda for sustainable development....achieving those goals (SDGs) will demand a strong partnership between young people and all stakeholders," he said.
The British High Commissioner was speaking at the opening ceremony of the three-day 6th Youth Leadership Summit hosted by Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
UK aid and Manusher Jonno Foundation jointly sponsored the event. United News of Bangladesh (UNB) is its media partner.
The summit, themed 'Strength in Unity: Shaping the Future', brought together 370 university students and young professionals, competitively selected from over 1,800 applications.
"We think investing in the young people is the best contribution we can make to the development of this remarkable country. It's the young people who have the potential for positive action," the High Commissioner said.
The British envoy said the summit focuses on building skills of the youth and instilling in them the values of tolerance and inclusiveness, both of which are critical for the practice of leadership.
"Strength in Unity as a theme is especially relevant in the current context when the world is fractured along ideological, religious, and cultural lines," said Dickson.
Founder and President of BYLC Ejaj Ahmad said in a world where more than 42 percent of its population is below the age of 25, BYLC believes that it is critical to engage our youths in conversations around collaborative leadership and taking ownership of societal problems.
"Leadership is a learned skill; it can be exercised by anyone, regardless of age, position, gender, or socio-economic status. The only thing young people need to exercise leadership is the heart and ability," he added.
Executive Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) Shaheen Anam
said a society based on justice and acceptance is one that will thrive and not just survive.
"We should empower the youth and instill in them the values of inclusiveness and the ability to accept different opinions, as well as encourage them to promote tolerance and non-violence," she added.
Parted in several breakout sessions and workshops, the summit will offer the delegates till July 13 the opportunity to network and share ideas on how youths can shape the future. -UNB