Young leaders taking action: Insights from LDC5

March 17, 2023
Youth Leaders at LDC5

Youth leaders meet with UNDP leadership at the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5).

Photo: SDG Media Zone

From 4 to 9 March 2023, 50 youth delegates joined the Youth Forum and the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) in Doha, Qatar. For the first time, the Conference had a youth focused track with a particular emphasis on meaningful youth participation, climate actions, technology, innovative finance and education.

Nominated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations entities and youth networks, and supported by the Government of Qatar, the official LDC5 youth delegation actively contributed to high-level discussions on the implementation of the Doha Programme of Action. Youth representatives showcased and discussed initiatives with representatives of governments, civil society, the private sector, and international and regional organizations.

“In the 5 days of conference, I spoke in different forums and plenary sessions discussing about youth sustainable financing, capacity building possibilities, collaborations and youth for SDGs.”, highlighted Afruza Tanzi, founder of a social enterprise, Prothiba, and member of the Movers Programme in Bangladesh. “This conference has been a remarkable experience of how youth can be not only visually represented but also meaningfully engaged in a plan of action.”

SDG Media Zone at LDC5

UNDP and youth leaders gather in the SDG Media Zone at the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Doha, Qatar.

Photo: SDG Media Zone

“Attending LDC5 was highly inspiring. Meeting and respectfully engaging with young people from diverse nationalities and cultures assured me that promoting a culture of peace and coexistence among youth and future generations is essential for building conflict-free nations,” added Noor Ghulam, engineer and former trainee and facilitator at UNDP’s Youth Leadership Programme in Yemen.

During the LDC5 Youth Forum, the Youth Declaration #ForAllGenerations was adopted and presented to world leaders. The document resulted from consultations facilitated by the UN System among young leaders, youth groups and constituencies from LDCs.

“For the future, we want more youth engagement in all the decision-making process, and more support to deliver the youth declaration.”
Falmata Kana, an LDC5 youth delegate from Chad and a member of UNDP’s African Young Women Leaders Fellowship Programme

Ahead of the Conference in Doha, UNDP facilitated the process that led to development of the Youth Declaration and the activities under the LDC5 Youth Track, through the Interagency Engagement Task Force.

“It’s a huge take-home that young people, through the Youth Declaration, are committing their support and their aspirations towards the achievement of the Doha Programme of Action. Now what is most important is to ensure its actual implementation when we go back home,” said Charles Kajoloweka, founder and Executive Director of Youth and Society (YAS) and member of UNDP’s 16x16 initiative.

“We seem different, but when we sit down and discuss we see that we have a lot of similarities. We live with the same challenges and the same vulnerabilities. It’s good to discuss, to network, and then take the success stories and go back and implement these ideas, taking into account our environment,” said Sadya Touré, a Generation17 young leader from Mali and Founder of Mali Women and Youth Empowerment, during a session at the LDC5 SDG Media Zone.

"Given the unfavourable systematic and structural barriers holding back LDC youth, young people, despite it all, disrupt their predetermined futures as positive agents and partners for change. Africa’s greatest resource is youth.”
Koaile Monaheng, youth delegate from Lesotho

“I can learn, I can speak, and I can raise the voice of young people that are staying behind. We are the leaders of today. This is how we can bring more change; this is how we can bring more hope,” concluded Domingos Pereira, a delegate from Timor-Leste and founder of an organization supporting rural youth in his country.

UNDP is committed to support the follow-up of the LDC5 conference, including the extension and nurturing of youth partnerships, to keep promoting co-creation processes, projects and initiatives with young people at the core.

UNDP’s work with, on and for youth

UNDP comprehensively supports youth empowerment for sustainable development and peace in more than 100 countries and territories in all five regions, including all 46 least developed countries (LDCs). Together with civil society partners, including youth organizations and networks, other United Nations entities and development partners, UNDP promotes youth social entrepreneurship and meaningful youth participation in local decision-making.

To learn more about UNDP’s work on youth, click here.