SDG Youth Summit 2022 was held in the tourist city of Cox’s Bazar on July 23 and 24. More than 400 selected youth from 6 countries including Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia participated in this summit.
The summit was organized by the SDG Youth Alliance, a coalition of nine organizations such as Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), The Earth Society, MASLOW Bangladesh, Global Law Thinkers Society, WE CAN Cox’s Bazar, IHW (Inspirations For Human Welfare), Parents Ageing Foundation, Bekaroto Hotao, Youth Development Center, Bangladesh, sponsor media partners were Better Bangladesh Tomorrow, Arrow, Climate Parliament, Bangladesh, Unimust International ltd, International Rescue Committee and SDG Youth Summit program was covered by six media partners Somoy TV, The Business Standard, The Daily Ittefaq, Ajker Potrika, Bangla Tribune, Radio Sagorgiri FM 99.2
In the opening ceremony of the summit on July 23, YPSA Chief Executive Md. Arifur Rahman, executive director of the Earth Society Mamun mia, Summit Advisor Sharmin Afroz Sumi, among others, who spoke at the opening ceremony are Sai Jyotirmoy Racherla, Chief Executive Officer, Research and Resource for Women in Asia, Tanveer Anjum, General Secretary, and Chief Executive Officer, Better Bangladesh Tomorrow, Walton Hi-Tech Industries Plc., South East University Vice- Chancellor Prof. Dr. Shamsher Ali.
The two-day summit held sessions on 6 topics – Decent Work for Economic Growth and Youth Expectation, Quality Education for the Future Generation, Gender Equality and SRHR, Displacement and Migration, Startup-Entrepreneur and Innovation, and Climate Action.
Tanveer Anjum, Executive Director of WALTON PLC, Sharmin Afroz Sumi, Managing Director of Maslow Bangladesh were present as panelists in the first session ‘Decent Work for Economic Growth’. The session was moderated by UNDP Bangladesh Youth Coordinator Mahmudul Hasan.
The second session ‘Quality Education for the Future Generation’ was attended by Barisal University Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Md Sadekul Arefin, South East University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Shamsher Ali, and Anisur Rahman Mallick, Senior Executive Director, Chief Business Officer (Fridge Products). Executive Member of SDG Cell, Walton Hi-Tech Industries Plc. The session was moderated by Akib Md Shatil, Program Coordinator, EMK Centre.
In the afternoon of the same day, an anti-tobacco rally was organized on the beach. The youth took an oath to build a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040. Besides, about 400 youths from 6 countries vowed to build a tobacco-free Bangladesh. After that, the young people gathered on the beach for the song and fanush festival.
In the evening, the cultural program of the summit enthralled the summit with the performance of Rakhine dance, artists from Cox’s Bazar and the performance of the delegates and Music was performed by popular singer Shareen Jawad. Besides, Miss World Bangladesh 2019- Rafa Nanjiva Tursa gave motivational speech to SDG youth summit participants.
On the second and final day of the summit, the first session of ‘Displacement and Migration’ was attended by program manager Shirin Sultana Lira of Switzerland Embassy, Deputy Director of YPSA Mohammad Shahjahan, YPSA Chief Executive Md. Arifur Rahman and Shamim Haider Patwari MP.
YPSA Chief Executive Md Arifur shared that Displacement and Migration is a phenomenon problem for Bangladesh. YPSA has been working relentlessly to address and solve Rohingya refugee problem since 2017 with the Government as well as give emergency food support, education facilities for Rohingya children, healthcare and housing facilities for Rohingya refugees.
Deputy Director of YPSA Mohammad Shahjahan shared that cyclones, coastal erosion and floods are the major causes of people’s displacement in the coastal areas of Bangladesh. 70% displaced households experienced displacement two times and more. Shamim Haider Patwari MP said that when we face any problem, we depend on the policy makers to solve the problem. Policy makers should create youth friendly policies. But in this case, the deficiency is more visible. Due to the Rohingya crisis, there is some kind of internal conflict in the country. He further said that carbon emission from our country is not high, but we suffer more. The Russia-Ukraine war is affecting our economy. However, the country is moving forward as the youth of Bangladesh are technology friendly. The whole session was moderated by YPSA Youth Focal and Program Manager Abdus Sabur.
In the second session ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights’, Asian Research and Resource for Women were present as discussants – Umme Salma (virtual) and Samia Rahman. Dr. Nasreen Jahan was also present as a discussant, Senior Health Coordinator Dr. Abu Sayem Md. Shaheen and Technical Manager Prichila Powul were also present as IRC representatives. The session was moderated by Mamata Hena Juti, representative of Asian Research and Resource for Women. Dr. Nasreen Jahan was also present as a discussant, Senior Health Coordinator Dr. Abu Sayem Md. Shaheen and Technical Manager Prichila Powul were also present as IRC representatives. The session was moderated by Mamata Hena Juti, representative of Asian Research and Resource for Women.
In the third session, climate action was participated by MP Tanvir Shakil Joy, Nahim Razzaq, Member of Parliament for Shariatpur-3, Ahsan adelur Rahman MP, Monwar Mostafa, country lead, European Climate Foundation. The session was conducted by Youthnet for Climate Justice CEO Sohanur Rahman. In the said session, the youth listened to the views of the experts on the climate crisis, blue economy, and carbon tax and expressed hope to work unitedly to solve the climate crisis.
The fourth session ‘Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Start Up’ was attended by Bhaskar Bhattacharya, Consultant of A2I, Md. Altaf Hossain, Project Director (Joint Secretary), IDEA Project, Bangladesh Computer Council, ICT Department, Mir Shahrukh Islam, Co-Founder and CEO, Bondstein Technologies Limited, Kajal Abdullah, Co-Founder & MD, Jahji Ltd. Mashharar Bhuiyan, Joint Secretary to Operational Director and CEO, Assistant General Secretary of SDG Cell, Walton Hi-Tech Industries Plc and Deputy Project Director, Better Bangladesh Tomorrow. The session was moderated by Siddharth Goswami, Head of Operations, Startup Bangladesh.
At the closing ceremony of SDG Youth Summit 2022, President of Climate Parliament Bangladesh, Tanvir Shakeel Joy MP, gave a virtual speech as the Chief Guest, State Minister for Youth and Sports, Zahid Ahsan Russell MP. Shamim Haider Patwari MP, Ashok Ullah Rafiq MP, and Secretary of Youth and Sports Ministry Mejbah Uddin spoke as special guests. In this summit Youth are committed to ensure the future of the world. Organizers said the decisions taken at the summit would be conveyed to the relevant stakeholders and policy makers and such summits would be continued.