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Transforming Our World: Inclusive Social Development for All

25 September 2019 | New York |

The Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF) is organizing its traditional annual UNGA Conference “Transforming our World: Inclusive Social Development for All” on Wednesday, 25 September 2019, in the margins of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The UNGA Conference 2019 will focus on the central themes of achieving inclusive social development, youth empowerment, and human rights for sustainable development.


The United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 recognizes the important role of inclusive social development, in particular SDG Goal #16, by “promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.” The United Nations has recommended the governments, the private sector, and the civil society to join their efforts to develop, implement, and evaluate inclusive social development policies for sustainable development. In addition, the promotion of democratic values, protection of human rights, and ensuring rule of law and access to justice are essential indicators for sustainable development. Despite significant progress achieved by governments worldwide, some vulnerable people and marginalized groups suffer from conflicts, violence, and inequalities that prevent social and economic development at the national and regional levels.

The participation of the different stakeholders in the UNGA has a significant effect in achieving the sustainable development goals with higher levels of outcomes. The UNGA Conference encourages all stakeholders including the UN Members States, the private sector, the civil society, academics, and experts to take active participation with innovative ideas and practices. The Conference aims at creating an open platform for all stakeholders to discuss pressing global issues about the UN Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, offer innovate solutions to common challenges, promote best practices to advance tangible results in achieving the sustainable development goals with 17 goals and 169 targets. It is important to highlight that the Agenda 2030 requires a holistic approach rather than fragmented methods for concrete actions with measurable outcomes to ensure no one is left behind.

Goals and Objectives

The UNGA Conference seeks to create a platform for stakeholders from different backgrounds to debate on how to transform our world through inclusive social development, youth empowerment, and respect for human rights and the rule of law, based on the UN Global Agenda 2030. The Conference outputs will include the adoption of a high-level statement offering policy recommendations about how to address current issues concerning youth participation in decision-making, equal opportunity for education and employment, and access to public services for all citizens as part of the UN Agenda 2030. In addition, UNGA Conference 2019 will propose a framework for action plan to follow-up on outcomes of the conference and build global partnership and collaboration in field projects.

Themes and Subtopics

Under the main theme of “Transforming Our World: Inclusive Social Development for All”, the UNGA 2019 Conference will include the following themes and subtopics;

PANEL 1: Inclusive Social Development in achieving the Global Goals 2030

This session aims to convene the role of inclusive social development policies and practices that help the United Nations achieve the Global Goals 2030. The panelists and participants will discuss major issues concerning social inclusion and inequalities that play significant role in sustainable development and peace globally.

The panelists will focus on current challenges and potential opportunities around key aspects of social integration policies and access to basic public services. The session on inclusive social development will act as the overarching theme for the following debates.

  • Social integration policies that promote access to basic public services
  • Role of the culture of peace in social cohesion and inclusiveness
  • Civil society participation to facilitate social development
  • Importance of rule of law and democracy to reduce inequalities and implement social development policies

PANEL 2: Advancing Youth through Social and Economic Empowerment

 This session will focus on current policies and practices in advancing youth through social and economic empowerment and how multi-stakeholders can work in collaboration to support youth-led initiatives and organizations.

As a fundamental right acknowledged by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the youth can play a crucial role in achieving the sustainable development through active and inclusive participation. Youth empowerment means helping young people to attain the 21st century knowledge, develop competency skills, become global citizens responsible for the people and the planet through communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. It is the responsibility of the state and non-state actors to create opportunities to youth to attain necessary information, skills, and tools to become independent, responsible, and productive citizens.

Specific issues to be addressed under this sub-topic include: youth empowerment, youth participation, volunteerism, education, and girls and young women.

  • Key priorities and challenges in access to quality education
  • Developing life and entrepreneurial skills to prepare the youth for the rapidly evolving labor market
  • From consultation to collaboration: How to create a meaningful and sustained youth participation in the decision-making mechanisms?
  • Youth as stakeholders in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals: Advocacy, awareness-raising, and capacity building

PANEL 3: Protection of Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights

 This session will deliberate on the commitment to protection of human rights and access of social services to leave no one behind. The speakers will offer multiple perspectives and practices on how human rights reduce inequalities, eliminate the causes of poverty, and prevent internal and global conflicts. This session will also highlight how realization of economic, social and cultural rights play an integral role in sustainable peace and conflict prevention.

Respect to human rights, human dignity, and equal rights of women and men promotes social development and prosperous life for all regardless of diverse backgrounds. It is a mutual responsibility for individuals and societies to ensure equality (parity) and reduce inequality (disparity) in the enjoyment of fundamental rights, freedoms, and opportunities for education, employment, healthcare, and other resources for all for sustainable peace and development.

Specific issues to be addressed under this subtopic include:

  • Promotion of cultural rights in building peaceful societies
  • Human rights-based approach to the UN Development Agenda
  • Violation of human rights leading to social unrest: Country-based Analysis
  • Early warning mechanisms of human rights to prevent conflicts (Ex: severe inequalities in access of social services, lack of democratic space of an active civil society, lack of media freedom)