Jakarta. The government plans to rally support from all members of society to achieve targets outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, and emphasized the role of young people in helping mainstream the goals among the public, an official from the National Development Planning Agency, or Bappenas, said on Wednesday (01/11).
"The sustainable development goals must be supported by all governmental and non-governmental actors […] The youth’s role in government, business and education will be fundamental," Arifin Rudiyanto, deputy minister for natural resources and maritime affairs at Bappenas, told reporters during a press conference in Jakarta.
According to Arifin, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has instructed for the SDGs to be implemented as part of a "national movement."
In order to achieve that, students will play a key role as part of the communication strategy, which will take place through both formal and public education.
"We will raise awareness on SDGs in every institution of higher education [in the country], so that college students, lecturers and academics are aware and can help disseminate information to members of the public, both in cities and villages," Arifin said.
Indonesia is on track to experience a demographic boom, predicted to take place in 2025-35, when the number of people within the productive age bracket will be higher than the number of elderly people and children.
Laksmi Dewanti, senior adviser to the minister of environment and forestry, said that this demographic will determine the future of the country.
"At that point we are hoping that the younger generation have already acquired awareness and are making real efforts to change their patterns of consumption and production more responsibly," Laksmi said.
In September 2015, member countries of the United Nations adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of the organization’s 2030 Agenda. The SDGs include 17 goals and 169 indicators, covering a range of issues that affect both developing and developed countries across the globe.
As countries implement their strategies to achieve the goals, the role of the world’s youth has continued to be highlighted in order for these transformative changes to take place and contribute to a world that embraces the principle of "no-one left behind."
Last month, United Nations resident coordinator in Indonesia, Anita Nirody, encouraged Indonesian young people to be a positive force of change for the country.
"Young people have such a critical role to play […] You have a chance to influence the process, you can be the change makers," Nirody has said.