Monrovia – Creative Associates International (CAI) and Sustainable Development Network-Liberia (SDN-Liberia) have performed a national launch and live demonstration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Youth Action Mapper (YAM) in the YMCA auditorium on July 15.
The event, which brought together youth activists, multi and bi-lateral and non-governmental organizations, introduced a new tool for youth actions.
The SDGs YAM app gives Liberian youth a platform to generate, analyze and share real-time, local data to respond to urgent needs in their communities.
With the application, youth are linked to opportunities to get involved with the SDGs and enhance their skills, organizations supporting projects are connected to funding opportunities and local and national decision makers may track progress toward the SDGs and their targets.
According to CAI head Rachel Azafrani, YAM will enable young people and youth-based organizations to contribute to the SDGs.
“It is a tool to create a network around youth activism and volunteerism that already exist. Since people hear through organizations like the Federation of Liberian Youth and the YMCA that are contributing to the SDGs, these actions mappers will track how their activity is contributing to the goals and also encourage young people to get involved in those kinds of activities,” she said.
Azafrani said the mapper, which will first be launched in Liberia, will inform and remind people about the SDGs unlike the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which ended in 2015.
“This is the first pilot. It is available worldwide for free on the Google plate store on any android phone but this is the real first pilot.
And the reason for that is because of the incredible mobilization around young people and the real willingness in Liberia to include young people in the development process and specifically to include them in the Sustainable Development Goals,” she added.
Assistant Youth and Sports Minister Kula Fofana, who formally launch YAM, called on young people to own the process.
“We’ve a lot of promotions, especially during this festive season, for data package. Some of us who have smart phones must now register for the application. Let’s stop Facebooking for a while.
“Liberia played a pivotal role around the creation of the SGDs. Our president co-chaired at the UN level and chaired in Africa. So we must own this process as young people especially now that Liberia is the first country to launch this project,” said Fofana.
SDN-Liberia is passionately creating awareness and leading campaign efforts to ensure that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led government and its successor will tie the national budgets around the implementation of these goals.
Sirleaf and Foreign Affairs Minister Marjon Kamara, who was then permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), played pivotal roles around the SDGs.
And SDN-Liberia executive director Blamo Nimle was delighted to be a part of an historic event.
“We are so grateful to serve as the pioneer institution for this application in Liberia. It is our hope that you will all find it very useful in delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals in Liberia,” said Nimle.
The SDGs, officially known as transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are an intergovernmental set of aspiration goals with 169 targets.
The goals are contained in paragraph 54 United Nations Resolution A/RES/70/1 of 25 September 2015.
The resolution is a broader intergovernmental agreement that, while acting as the Post 2015 Development Agenda (successor to the MDGs), builds on the principles agreed upon under Resolution A/RES/66/288, popularly known as The Future We Want.
On 19 July 2014, the General Assembly’s Open Working Group (OWG) on SDGs forwarded a proposal to the plenary.
The proposal contained 17 goals with 169 targets covering a broad range of issues.
These included ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests.
On 5 December 2014, the assembly accepted the secretary-general’s synthesis report which stated that the agenda for the post-2015 SDG process would be based on the OWG proposals.
The intergovernmental negotiations on the post 2015 development agenda began in January 2015 and ended in August 2015.
Following the negotiations, a final document was adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit from September 25–27, 2015 in New York, United States of America.
The title of the agenda is Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which officially came into force on January 1, 2016.
The SDGs universally apply to all and countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.