AIESEC and the UN – A Partnership for the Goals

According to Wikipedia, AIESEC focuses on empowering young people to make a Progressive social impact. It is the world’s largest youth-run organization and an international non-governmental and Not-for-profit and provides young people with leadership development through cross-cultural internships and volunteering opportunities. 
AIESEC is often referred to as the youth-wing of the United Nations. But how exactly does AIESEC work with the UN? It is a non-governmental in consultative status with the ECOSOC, is an independent arm of the UN DPI  and UN’s Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, member of ICMYO, and is recognized by UNESCO. In its consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), AIESEC has common projects with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Asia Pacific, and UN Volunteers in West and East Africa to advance youth contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals, short SDGs. The UN specialized agency promoting industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability, and worked together with AIESEC to launch Summit for the Presidents of AIESEC in Europe that happened during UNIDO’s 50th anniversary in Vienna. The idea behind AIESEC started in 1948, when representatives from schools and universities across Europe interacted across various programmes and schools in business and economics. Back then, AIESEC’s stated mission was “to expand the understanding of a nation by expanding the understanding of the individuals, changing the world one person at a time.”

A Partnership for the Goals

AIESEC and the United Nations have a rich symbiotic relationship that stands on mutual belief and passion towards achieving peace in the world. The UN firmly believes that young people need to be at the center of the global development process.

AIESEC Youth Action Summit 2015

In December 2015, AIESEC’s young leaders and representatives from 126 countries and territories came together at the United Nations’ Headquarters to promote and drive youth participation in the implementation and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. AIESEC thereby declared to adopt and contribute to implementing the Global Goals for Sustainable Development by developing and mobilising young leaders to create awareness, foster engagement and take action to implement these goals. The history behind adopting young people as a priority is based on the World Program for Action for Youth (WPAY), a landmark agreement that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1995 to provide practical guidelines on a policy framework for national action. The partnership between the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and AIESEC seeks to effectively increase the  youth’s engagement in achieving the 2030 Agenda through skills development, promotion of youth-led entrepreneurship, and joint outreach. This partnership stands on the mutual recognition of the youth’s unmatched potential to be innovative and driven agents of change for achieving sustainable development. As young people, we have the incredible opportunity and potential to shape the future and influence the  world to become a better place. Youth is a major priority for the United Nations. We need to realize that unless we take the initiative, nothing will change. It is on us to push leaders across governments and businesses, to hear young people out, include them in the decision-making processes, and to participate in creating a society that meets the needs of young people — for all 1.2 billion of us.