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Youth survey on sustainable development goals released

Released at: 17:05, 02/02/2018

Youth survey on sustainable development goals released

Photo: Ngoc Lan

Nearly 7,000 young Vietnamese from around the country responded to "Vietnam Youth Survey on the Sustainable Development Goals", released in Hanoi on February 2.

by Ngoc Lan

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam, the Sustainable Development Office at the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the Center for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS) held a workshop to release the “Vietnam Youth Survey on Sustainable Development Goals” on February 2 in Hanoi.

The survey aimed to collect data on awareness and perceptions among young people about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to develop policies and support young people in realizing their role as partners in achieving the goals.

The leading goals that young Vietnamese feel closest to and are ready to act for include quality education, good health and well-being, gender equality, no poverty, zero hunger, and peace, justice, and strong institutions.

More than 7,000 young people from all 63 cities and provinces in Vietnam responded to the survey, nearly 75 per cent of whom were female and 65 per cent of whom live in urban areas. Three-quarters of respondents said they had not previously heard about the SDGs.

On what respondents feel closest to and are ready to act for, 51 per cent chose Quality Education (SDG4), 33.54 per cent Good Health and Well-Being (SDG3), 31.85 per cent Gender Equality (SDG5), 25.76 per cent No Poverty (SDG1), 25.35 per cent Zero Hunger (SDG2), and 19.73 per cent Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG16).

The survey also revealed that there was general interest in the SDGs but this is contrasted by a lack of clarity about what can be done, especially by common people in their daily lives, and how the actions of each citizen can help improve Vietnamese society.

Coordination and support mechanisms and actors, gender sensitive approaches, awareness campaigns, and public engagement activities are among the key recommendations from the survey as the next steps to be taken to empower young people to take action in achieving the SDGs.

At the release of the survey, Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Country Director in Vietnam, said the UNDP teamed up with the Sustainable Development Office and the CSDS to undertake the survey to better understand the concerns, perceptions, and interests of young people and the SDG’s priorities they see as vital for their future. “It is our hope that youth perspectives on the SDGs captured in this survey will help inform all our development efforts,” Ms. Wiesen said. “If we recognize that young people are key partners in achieving the goals, then we must all take responsibility in our work to inform, guide, support, and partner with young people. It is time to shift the notion of partnering with young people from engaging youth as beneficiaries to partnering with youth as agents of change, driving the SDGs and the future they want.”

Mr. Dao Dinh Tan, Director of the Sustainable Development Office, said that Vietnam has registered to present a Voluntary National Report on the SDG’s implementation at the High-level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York in July this year. “The report is part of the monitoring and evaluation mechanism on the implementation of Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development, and participating members are encouraged to review and evaluate the implementation at national and local levels,” he added. “The results and findings from this Youth Survey on SDGs will be useful inputs for the Voluntary National Report that Vietnam is to present at the Forum this year.”

In September 2015, the SDGs were agreed upon by world leaders at an historic meeting at the UN in New York. The SDGs identify a vital role for youth in achieving the goals by 2030, not only as the next generation of leaders and thinkers but as partners in achieving the SDGs in the present.

Together with the 192 members states of the UN, Vietnam committed to achieving the SDGs by 2030. On May 10, 2017, Decision No. 622/QD/TTg officially introduced the “National Action Plan to Implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, which was signed into force by the Prime Minister and calls for action from all stakeholders to achieve the goals, making progress in the SDG’s everybody’s business.

Vietnam currently has what is known as a “golden population structure”, which means that for every two or more people working there is only one dependent person, with 27.7 per cent of the national population aged between 16 and 30. This places young Vietnamese central to accelerating the achievement of the SDGs.

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