Smart and Green Cities Forum in Nepal Prompts Youth Leadership in Sustainable Development
14-15 May 2018, Kathmandu, Nepal
“Moral and innovative leaders have an impact because they understand who they are and how they succeed through others,” said Leonard Faustino, Youth Co-Chair of Asia Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance. He, along with other leaders from around the world, gathered in Nepal to guide 300 people from ten different countries in leadership activities and discussion at a forum empowering youth to address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Held on May 14 and 15 in Kathmandu, the forum organized by GPF Nepal brought together municipal actors, youth leaders, and businesses such as IBM to create opportunities for the youth in areas such as solid waste management while ensuring environmental-friendly policies in order to turn existing city environments into “smart and green cities.”
Senior Program Manager of IBM Corporate Citizenship, Ms. Rebecca E. Curzon, described different forms of environmental transformation saying, “Transformation can also be a slow process… when fresh ideas turn into realization, action, and seizing of opportunities.”
Mr. Sunil Raghavan, an IBM India manager in Global Strategy Delivery, engaged participants in an enthralling presentation on the evolution of cognitive technology, including blockchain, DevWorks, Watson services, artificial intelligence, and gave 70 young coders the opportunity to attend a session focused on how these types of software could be utilized in enhancing e-governance, environmental management, disaster preparedness, and in solving real world problems. “Over time, cognitive systems will simulate more of how the brain actually works and help us solve the world’s most complex problems by penetrating the complexity of Big Data,” he added.
Nepalese government representatives also attended the forum to reaffirm their commitment to making urban cities “viable, livable, and accessible.” Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Jagat Bahadur Sunar encouraged Nepalese youth to contribute to the country’s development through innovation, research, and civic engagement, calling them to “be moral, ethical, disciplined, and social service oriented.”
The forum was not only for Nepalese youth, however. Senior Advisor of UN Habitat, Dr. Markandey Rai, observed the diverse background of the participants and said, “I believe we all are one global family. As a family we should work together and not wait for 2030 to fulfill our Sustainable Development Goals. We ourselves are the solutions to any problem of our country and the world.”
The forum included working sessions where youth, government officials, and business managers could collaborate and discuss the use of technology, civil society and social entrepreneurship in building sustainable cities. Sessions included: Building Smart Sustainable Cities Together; Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Cities; Fostering collaboration amongst Government Agencies and Private Sector; and Smart Buildings and Urban Planning.
Dipendra Joshi, a participant, shared his experience in the interactive working session between government agencies and the private sector where experts shared their work. “I think youth need to be aware about such efforts and forums like this help us do that. This workshop will definitely help to create and improve the entrepreneurial hub in Nepal. I hope the organizers will organize youth forums outside the valley as well to reach a larger number of youth.”
This forum is the fifth in a series for the Asia-Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance and was made possible with the partnership of IBM, Global Young Leaders Academy, the Nepal Government Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Youth Council, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, and Chaudhary Foundation. Contributing their skills and expertise, other partners included Kathmandu Living Labs, Kathmandu University, Code for Nepal, AI Developers Nepal, Artificial Intelligence for Development, Association of Youth Organizations Nepal, Bikash Udhyami, Blue Waste to Value, Khalti, Youth Advocacy Nepal, Youth Legend, and RR Shree School of Technology.
Global Forum on Youth Leadership and Service for Peace and Development
1 March 2017, Manila, Philippines
GPC 2017 was our largest Convention to date, convening 3,500+ diverse attendees from over 40 nations with a principled vision for building peace, service and and moral and innovative leadership.
The convention was followed by the convening of nearly 10,000 youths at the Global Youth Summit in the Mall of Asia, Manila addressing the SDGs, co-sponsored by SM Cares and Global Peace Foundation and a dynamic Global Peace Concert, along with a special technology tools training sponsored by IBM.
During the Convention, on March 1 more than 500 young leaders from 40 countries, as well as major world development and corporate partners, participated in the Global Forum on Youth Leadership and Service for Peace and Development, which presented innovative new strategies and partnerships to advance a culture of service around the globe. The session participants teamed up to enhance knowledge and strategies with regard to youth participation in fulfilling SDGs, and to form cross-regional and cross-cultural youth service networks in the region. Among the participants were representatives of government agencies dealing with youth issues, civil society, development partners and the private sector, who engaged in lively debates and discussions on enhancing partnerships to address key challenges in clusters of the environment, health, disaster response, peace and youth entrepreneurship.
Global Peace and Development Service Alliance (GPPDSA)
A significant outcome of the Global Service Forum was the launch of the Global Peace and Development Service Alliance (GPDSA), a multi-sector collaboration to advance a culture of service through promotional and programmatic initiatives, engaging corporate, government, and civil society support.
To achieve measurable impacts and establish a strong evidence-based record in answering the many challenges of ongoing conflict and underdevelopment, the GPDSA is developing a series of initiatives in diverse areas that include:
- A Peace Track to respond to emerging crises across borders, beginning in India and Pakistan and eventually including the whole of South Asia, with Yuvsatta (youth for peace), an NGO based in Chandigarh, India and Pramod Sharma as lead for this initiative.
- An Environmental Service Track encouraging sustainable waste and water management and basic hygiene including initiatives such as Swachgraha in India, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, Bagmati River cleaning in Nepal, Kariobangi waste to energy project led by youths in Nairobi Kenya, and water management with Nicholas Lee from Clean Water Unite Project (CUP) and Shrijana Sitikhu from GPF Nepal as leads.
- A Technology and Innovation Track to support the involvement of youth in development initiatives for sustainable livelihoods. A Tech-Expo is scheduled in Incheon, South Korea from 30th November to 3rd December for promotion of this initiative with David Yoo of Love In Lights as the lead.
- A Disaster Preparedness and Response Service Track to mitigate the impact of natural hazards and crisis situations such as earthquakes and typhoons with Ram Rohan Panta, coordinator of Rise Nepal and Leonard Faustino, from GPF Philippines as leads. Phara Win Metripop from Volunteer Service Action Thailand will be contacted to support his initiative.
2017 Upcoming Events
Major scheduled events in 2017 to promote to further build upon the launch of the Global Peace and Development Service Alliance and promote moral and innovative youth leadership include:
- International Youth Leaders Assembly from 7th to 17th August, 2017 at the United Nations in New York and the World Bank in Washington DC, United States of America (details at www.iyla.info)
- 12th Global Youth Peace Fest- GYPF 2017 from 29th September to 3rd October, 2017 in Chandigarh, India and Lahore, Pakistan (details at peacefestindia.in).
- Technology Expo from 30th November to 3rd December, 2017 in Incheon, South Korea.
- National meetings will be organized including an upcoming APPDSA event in Kathmandu, Nepal in April.
The organizers thank IBM, SM Cares, SAP and KOICA among other sponsors for their example of corporate social responsibility and ongoing support in promoting a global culture of service.
Development Experts Promote Volunteerism at South Asia Regional Forum
Nepal Convening Recognizes Volunteer Contributions on One-Year Anniversary of Earthquake
More than 260 youths, governments officials, and international and domestic civil society representatives, from 12 countries convenced on 23 and 24 April,2016 in Lalitpur, an ancient city bordering Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu, to promote the role of youth and volunteerism in advancing development and peace.
The two-day South Asia Sub-Regional Forum on Youth Volunteerism to promote Participation, Development and Peace was convened on the anniversary of the crippling earthquake that struck the Himalayan nation just a year earlier. Participants observed a minute of silence in memory of those who lost their lives in the disaster. The programme also recognized 12 individuals and organizations for their service in recovery efforts following the earthquake.
“From a year ago, the progress that we’ve seen, in terms of the spirit of young people and the interest in being engaged in the various areas of community service, tremendous.” Said Dr. Marco Roncarati, Social Affairs Officer of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and Co-Chair of the Asia-Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance.
The Sub-Regional Forum advance youth engagement in environmental service, peacebuilding and enhanced disaster risk assessment and response. It also provided a provided a platform for youths to share knowledge and best practices, enhance collaboration among various stakeholders, and identify model projects and follow-up implementation strategies for youth engagement strategies furthering in 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Forum was inaugurated by Er.Ganesh Shah, Nepal’s former Minister of Environment, Science and Technology. Mr. Madhav Dhugel, Vice-Chairman of the Nation Youth Council, was a special guest at inaugural session.
At the forum three journalists were given awards for outstanding news coverage in their respective areas. Mr. Durga Dulal of Nagarik News was recognized in the area of Peace and Harmony; Mr. Sabin Sharma of Rajdhani News in the area of Environment Service; and Mr. Rohit Bhandari of Sagarmantha Television in the area of Disaster Management.
“The problems relating to these thematic areas- Disaster Management, Peace and Harmony, and Environmental Service- can only be addressed by effective participation of youth.” -Mr. Laxman Prasad Mainali, Secretary, Ministry of Youth & Sports, Government of Nepal.
The youths also participated in panel discussions with experts addressing areas of Policy, Youth Engagement, Social Entrepreneurship, Media and Awareness and Partnership and Collaboration.
From these sessions, 15 innovative, action-oriented project models (5 under each cluster) ware presented by youth participants, with the best three models recognized during the closing ceremony on April 24, 2016.
At the closing session, officials representing Ministry of Youth and Sports, UNSECAP, Nepal’s Academy of Science and Technology, Tribuvan University, and Global Peace Foundation further highlighted the role of youth volunteerism to promote development and peace, while emphasizing the way forward for ideas and models discussed and developed at the Forum to be implemented on the ground.
“The topics selected in this two-day progamme – disaster management, environment protection and Peace and Harmony,” added Dr. Tirtha Raj Khaniya, Tribuvan University Vice Chancellor, “have become most essential where the energy and ideals of youth must be mobilized and utilized”.
The Asia-Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance (APPDSA), a youth multilateral stakeholder cosortium committed to further empowering youth and communities through volunteerism, was launched at United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok in October 2014. A follow- up youth assembly in Kathmandu, Napal was convened in March 2015, just weeks before the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the country. Following the quake, volunteers from the Global Peace Foundation and APPDSA organized the campaign “Rise Nepal”, engaging 2,000 Nepali youth volunteers in relief efforts throughout the affected region serving nearly 3,000 impacted families with transitional housing, food and medical care.
The South Asia Forum was jointly organized by Ministry of Youth and Sports, Global Peace Foundation, UNSCAP, and Global Young Leaders Academy. Other Supporting partners included UN-Habitat and UN volunteers, the Center for Social Change, Digo Bikas Institute, Jagriti Child and Youth Concern Nepal, Tribuvan University’s Central Department of Environment Science and Department of Peace, Conflict and Development Studies, Youth Thinkers Society, Youth Advocacy Nepal, Resources Himalaya Foundation, Swoyambu Community Learning Centre, Lumbini World Peace Forum and Golden Gate International College.
The Role of Republic of Korea in Sustainable Development
Korean Council on Foreign Relations | 8 October 2015
Asia-Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance Convening Highlights Service, Volunteerism, Youth Engagement
The growth of Korea from one of the poorest countries in the world into a modern, vibrant democracy and one of the world’s leading economies presents important lessons to developing nations said economists, political leaders and development experts at a forum, “The Role of Korea in Sustainable Development,” on October 8, 2015.
The experience of this transition, the challenges, the national resolve and government/private sector collaboration, are invaluable assets that can offer hope to the global community in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, speakers emphasized.
The forum was co-convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, UN-HABITAT, Korean Council on Foreign Relations, and the Global Peace Foundation as part of a series of academic forums and public events to support the advance of peaceful unification of the Korean peninsula of the seventieth anniversary of the division of Korea.
Additional sponsors of the forum included Love in Lights, Asia Development Relief Foundation, Service for Peace, Scientists and Engineers without Borders, Educators without Borders, Korean Society For U-City, and the Utokapat Foundation.
Korea’s humanitarian advances worldwide
The forum highlighted the Republic of Korea’s growing humanitarian and service work worldwide, and examined ways to strengthen the contributions of youth and volunteerism, improve coordination among sectors, build partnerships, and mobilize resources in Korea to advance a development agenda.
“Development of youth is a prerequisite for nation building,” said Tae-Ik Chung, Chairman of the Korean Council on Foreign Relations, in welcoming remarks. “The spirit, diligence, enthusiasm and the creativeness of the youths contribute positively for all-round development of a nation.”
Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga praised Korea for its vigorous efforts to build political and economic structures to lift the nation out of poverty. “Your investment in meritocracy, democracy, education, invention and innovation has paid dividends and continues to provide useful lessons for the rest of the developing world,” the Prime Minister said. “Korea has shown the world that economic growth can also be equitable and inclusive.”
Mr. Odinga said that Korea, Kenya and Africa could be reliable partners in global diplomacy and economic development. He said that Korea can provide the economic support, skills and manpower needed for modernization and growth in Africa. “Above all, Korea remains an inspiration and a motivation that indeed, with the right policies, nations can rise.”
The Prime Minister also used the forum to encourage international partnerships as one means of facilitating the unification of the two Koreas. Greater cooperation and stability he suggested will promote more investment in the South, uplift the North, and “foster a more future-oriented and multi-faceted partnership in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.” Mr. Odinga continued, “Personally, I stand ready to visit Pyongyang if it can help bridge the divide and help with confidence-building measures.”
Ki-Seok Kim, President of Educators without Borders and Honorary Consul of Burkina Faso, presented a case study of Korean-Burkina Faso collaboration from 2007-2015 through a joint project, Global Alliance for Poverty Alleviation. The comprehensive project included adult literacy, agricultural training and environmental preservation, husbandry, entrepreneurship, malaria and HIV/AIDS prevention, and microfinancing. Winner of the 2014 UNESCO Award in September, the project has received invitations from countries including Senegal, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
Priority of education
Africa and Asia Development Relief Foundation President Yi-Jong Kwon summarized the many priorities addressed in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but particularly stressed the importance of education as a response to poverty. He movingly talked about his experience and aspirations as one of 20,000 Koreans sent to Germany as laborers at the end of the Korean War.
“The priority for everyone at that moment was only one, survival,” he reflected. “In spite of enduring hunger and working at a blind end in a mine gallery, I never gave up on study. I was convinced that learning and studying was the only way for me to get out of this horrible poverty.”
He said behind the Korea’s development are much time and effort invested into children’s education in order to overcome poverty. “For the better future, the international society should provide neglected children with the opportunity for equal education,” he said.
Global Peace Foundation Vice President of Strategic Partnerships David Caprara reminded the forum of the recent establishment of the Asia Pacific Service Alliance in Bangkok and immediate impact the alliance had following the devastating earthquake in Nepal through the youth volunteer movement Rise Nepal.
“As Pope Francis stated well,” Caprara said, “the critical elements involved in saving our planet—from addressing climate change, to working to eradicate poverty and bring peace—are inextricably linked, and we must each exert all of our effort in concrete steps after today’s meeting to achieve these noble goals.
“How can we learn today from the unique experience of the Korean people who rose from the ashes and tragic division of the Korean war 70 years ago, and whose country was transformed from a nation of abject poverty to a modern donor nation? The answer is rooted in the Korean people’s commitment to their universal, founding principles of hongik ingam: ‘the greatest service for the benefit of humanity.’
“While we are here today to study and learn from the unique Korean model of development, we are also here to further build this movement of multi-stakeholders – led by youth, powered by the private sector, and infused with faith in the universal principles of unity and service.”
North-East Asia Forum on Volunteerism Urges Youth Participation for Regional Peace and Development
Some 250 participants from the Asia-Pacific region representing governments, academia, and the private sector convened in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on June 26, 2015 at a forum that aimed to strengthen the contributions of youth in peacebuilding and development and to scale up volunteerism across the region.
The North-East Asia Forum on Youth Volunteerism to Promote Participation, Development and Peace, and subsequent International Young Leaders Assembly, gathered participants from 17 countries to advance strategies for disaster risk reduction, youth empowerment, environmental conservation, education, health care and humanitarian service. The forum also explored mechanisms for training national volunteers and dispatching volunteers internationally to support governmental programs and empower youth volunteers through creation of a Mongolian Volunteers Corps.
The forum was organized by the Asia-Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance with co-convening organizations including the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP); Global Peace Foundation; Mongolia’s Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism; Mongolian Network of Volunteer Organizations; Mongolian Youth Federation; and the Global Young Leaders Academy.
The Asia-Pacific Forum focused on creating a policy-enabling environment for a new wave of peace-based initiatives and youth volunteer projects. The forum also organized a series of youth cultural exchanges, service and environmental projects, and historic site visits in Mongolia’s capital city, as well as adventure leadership training.
Featured presenters included Dr. Marco Roncarati, Social Affairs Officer of UN ESCAP and Co-Chair of the Asia-Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance; M. Khurelsukh, Vice minister of Mongolia’s Environment, Green Development and Tourism Ministry; Hon. S. Oyun, Member of Mongolia’s Parliament and President of the UN Environmental Assembly; Yeqing Li, President of Global Young Leaders Academy; and Sam Johnson, a social entrepreneur and disaster preparedness leader from Christchurch, New Zealand, among others.
As an action step, the forum issued an Alliance Memorandum with the Mongolian Youth Federation on behalf of all assembled partners to implement the Mongolia Youth Corps and to establish Ulaanbaatar as the Northeast Asia hub for the Asia-Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance.
Participants also adopted an Ulaanbaatar Call to Action, urging cooperation on service and development priorities on the regional level with like-minded partners, creation of an online platform, and promotion of an international volunteer eco camp and education program to achieve a “green future” for Mongolia. Following the conference, participants volunteered time to support a massive tree nursery established on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar to combat desertification.
Youth, APPDSA Give Leadership to Relief and Recovery Efforts for Nepal Earthquake 2015
On Saturday April 25, Nepal was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Hardest hit were the areas surrounding the heavily populated capital city of Kathmandu. Over 8,000 fatalities are already recorded and mounting.
The Asia-Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance (APPDSA), a consortia of multilateral stakeholders to empower youth and communities across to globe through volunteerism for peace and development, is on the ground equipping and training youth volunteers, and coordinating assessment and delivery of the most immediate needs for short and long-term recovery.
The campaign is called “Rise Nepal” (for detail updates, see Facebook #RiseNepal)
For Nepal volunteers to connect on the ground to local volunteer mobilization efforts, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: +977-1-4245506
Kathmandu Call For Action
South Asia Subregional Consultation on Youth Volunteerism to Promote Participation, Development and Peace
“The three-day consultation summarized the most critical ideas andaction steps from youth in the South Asia sub-region, including the importance of youth’s role in engaging their communities in environmental service and the necessity of heightened youth participation in peace development through nonviolence and entrepreneurial leadership.
The event was organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in collaboration with the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Global Peace Foundation (GPF).
Some 200 participants of nearly twenty nations gathered from within and outside the South Asian subregion took part in the consultation. The event was the first of its kind fostering youth engagement, development and peacebuilding, built on the Asia-Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance launched in Bangkok at ESCAP headquarters.
Based on the issue clusters of environment, health service, youth entrepreneurship, peace building and disaster preparedness set during the Bangkok Forum, youth participants engaged in complex yet lively discussions with panels of experts to discuss the current situation and identify action steps that youth can take through service, focusing on the South Asian subregion, resulting in the Kathmandu Call for Action.