Thursday, October 8, 2015

WAGGGS and the Adoption of the UN Global Goals

Three young women, Emily Rodriguez (USA), Kristen Grennan (USA), and Tsinjoharinosy Rahaingoarivelo (Madagascar) were among 193 young leaders who participated in the opening ceremony of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York City on September 25, 2015. Tsinjo is one of WAGGGS’ Post-2015 Ambassadors. Kristen and Emily are members of the WAGGGS NYC-based UN team.

 This UN Summit was historical because of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (known as Global Goals). The 17 Global Goals include ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, achieving gender equality, and protecting oceans and forests. The Global Goals will guide development strategies around the world for the next 15 years!

 In 2012, Emily participated the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (known as Rio+20) in Brazil. The new Global Goals were first formally discussed at Rio+20, along with the idea of including individuals in the decision making process of selecting these goals. Kristen became part of that initiative with her involvement as an intern at the UN’s Millennium Campaign and MY World global survey last spring. Tsinjo has been a WAGGGS Post-2015 Ambassador since 2013, and she has been attending international conferences and meetings to advocate for girls.

WAGGGS Delegates at the Adoption of the Global Goals

 WAGGGS Lights Lanterns and Leads the Way 

 Our day at the United Nations was incredibly exciting! We joined young leaders (under age 30) from around the world at 5:30 am, catching the sunrise over the UN courtyard! The youth selected to participate included official national youth delegates and representatives from youth organizations, such as WAGGGS.

 We were welcomed by the UN Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi in the morning. After we took our seats in the balcony of the UN General Assembly Hall, we anticipated presentations by Pope Francis, Malala Yousafzai, and Ban Ki-moon. Pope Francis encouraged us to take care of the environment and to put an end to exclusion. He discussed the importance of education, including for girls. Together with 193 youth from around the globe, we supported Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala, an activist for girls’ education and empowerment, during her speech. We stood with her in solidarity. We held solar-powered blue lanterns, lighting the way to a sustainable future for all children and youth. Emily, Kristen, and Tsinjo’s solar lanterns represented the 10 million WAGGGS members around the world! Malala raised her voice for girls’ rights and hope for our future. Tsinjo had the very special opportunity to sit behind Malala during the ceremony!

 At the end of the opening ceremony at the UN General Assembly, the Sustainable Development Goals were adopted with the official gavel, and we celebrated by waving UN flags from the balcony! WAGGGS delegates celebrated the adoption of the Global Goals with a spirit of achievement for all of our collective efforts over the last three years. The adoption of the goals gives us hope and encouragement!

 It was an honor to be a part of the historic adoption of Global Goals! Ban Ki-moon emphasized that youth are the torchbearers for the Global Goals. As Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, we have a responsibility to implement the Global Goals in our communities! What do you want the world to look like in 2030? Learn more about the Global Goals on:

 By Emily, Kristen, and Tsinjo

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