The 16 young leaders have been chosen for their exceptional skills, expertise and passion to contribute to the debate on sustainable development for all, and in particular for their commitment to gender equality. They will share their unique experiences with EDD 2018 participants in Brussels on 5-6 June.
Chosen among 283 applicants from 82 countries, the sixteen young leaders are all actively engaged in development and social projects in their countries with the aim to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 by the international community. During their stay in the Belgian capital, the Young Leaders will have the opportunity to visit European institutions and participate in workshops, discussions and debates with European Commission policy makers, international leaders, development professionals and representatives of the private sector.
European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: "More than half of the world's population today is under the age of 30. It is not enough to work on building a better future for the younger generation. We need to build it with them, give them the stage they need to put their brilliant ideas into practice. I look forward to meeting these inspiring young people during this year's EDD". This year’s Young Leaders represent a wide range of countries, which include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, El Salvador, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, Sudan, Sweden, Syria, and Uganda.
The European Development Days (EDD) highlight Europe’s commitment to building a sustainable and fairer world. The forum builds on the core belief that cooperation is key to achieve real change towards a poverty-free and sustainable world where everyone has the prospect for a decent life. An essential aim is thus to inspire the desire to work together in a spirit of true partnership through facilitating networking.
This year the EDD will take place in Brussels on 5 and 6 June 2018 and focus on the empowerment and engagement of women and girls in global sustainable development. The EDD 2018 will examine and discuss the goals of the 2030 Agenda and the EU’s commitment to gender equality. The EDD 2018 forum – Women and Girls at the Forefront of Sustainable Development: protect, empower, invest – will be structured around the three main themes: Physical and psychological integrity of women and girls, Socio-economic rights/empowerment of women and girls, Voice and participation for women and girls, and the 5 "Ps" of the 2030 Agenda: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, Partnership. Everyone is given a voice in this open, collaborative and inclusive platform.
Each year, the global development community is invited to contribute directly to the ofcial EDD programme by proposing activities and sessions. Each year, the forum attracts more than 6 000 participants from over 140 countries, representing 1 200 organisations from the development community. The forum fosters a true spirit of partnership with all development actors. Since its launch in 2006, the forum has been an incubator of new ideas to bring about real change towards a poverty-free, sustainable and fairer world, where everyone has the opportunity for a decent life.