UNICEF Hosts an Inspiring UN75 Dialogue with Children

On Wednesday, 29th July 2020, UNICEF Eswatini hosted an inspiring UN75 dialogue with emaSwati children, at the George Hotel, Manzini.

Erin Kennedy-UNV Communications and Advocacy RCO
Group photo of UN75 attendants
Erin Kennedy-UNRCO
18 August 2020

Over 30 young people joined UNICEF from all around the country, including secondary school students and students living with disabilities.

The dialogue served to hear the crucial voices of young people on the impacts of COVID-19 on their lives, international priorities to recover better from the COVID-19 pandemic, what 2045, when the UN turns 100, might hold for Eswatini and the world, challenges to achieve this vision and how global cooperation, namely the UN, might help manage such challenges.

Students shared their concerns regarding the impacts of COVID-19 on their lives, stating that; “It has affected our education process as we no longer go to school and learn online. Children who live under the poverty line don’t have access to such gadgets and data to learn online.”

 

Young girl with a microphone
Erin Kennedy | UNRCO
One of the participants taking part in the UN75 discussions

Participants continued to share that COVID-19 has resulted in many children becoming depressed, teenage pregnancies increasing, along with Gender-Based Violence, and their right to play being violated. Children living with disabilities are being left behind in the pandemic as education moves online; braille learning materials and physical support are thus no longer readily available.

However, the young participants expressed that the pandemic has also exposed them to different technologies, bettered their personal hygiene and allowed them to nurture their passions, grow their skills and spend time with family.

Rich discussions followed, with students mentioning that the international community should prioritise children following the pandemic, offering “holistic support to all children” for they are the future of the world.

“I’d like to see a world in 2045 where all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are achieved; especially SDG 1 (No Poverty), because poverty causes most of the problems in the world,” 

Student

The event was live-streamed on UN Eswatini’s Facebook and YouTube pages, enabling others to join the conversation online.

This occasion was the ninth UN75 dialogue hosted by UN Eswatini so far, following the launch of the UN75 dialogues by the UN Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres, in January 2020; the start of the UN’s 75th anniversary. The Secretary-General launched the dialogues with a vision to spark conversations in all settings, by discussing our priorities as a human family and how we can build a better future for all, to ultimately emerge from the pandemic stronger and better equipped to work together.

In order to reach as many people as possible, the UN has built partnerships with youth, civil society, business and media organisations, to create a one-minute survey that is both quick and easy to complete.

Your voice must be heard during this critical time for the world. Your views, concerns and ideas will be presented to world leaders and senior UN officials at the official commemoration of the 75th  Anniversary by the UN General Assembly in September 2020. Groups around the world will then discuss how best to action the priorities and proposals generated.

Let us make the voices of Emaswati be heard!