Global Maritime Forum engages youth to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals

The second edition of the Future Maritime Leaders essay competition encourages students and young professionals to submit essays about how the maritime sector can contribute to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the coming decade.   The maritime sector is well positioned to contribute to achieving the SDG, which is why the Global Maritime Forum has chosen them as the framework for its 2020 Future Maritime Leaders essay competition.

Christine Loh, Chief Development Strategist of the Institute for the Environment, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Chair of the Future Maritime Leaders essay competition selection committee, says: “We call on young people from around the world to share their bold ideas on how the maritime sector can contribute to the Decade of Action.

“International shipping is responsible for carrying around 80% of global trade. It also has deep connections to a wide range of stakeholders from across the global value chain. This gives the maritime sector a vital role in tackling issues like trade and growth, climate change, global infrastructure and food and energy security.”

A selection committee comprised of senior maritime stakeholders will select three winning essays, and the authors will be awarded the opportunity to participate in the Global Maritime Forum’s 2020 Annual Summit in London on 13-14 October 2020. They will represent the young generation and take up active roles as full participants alongside 250 public and private sector leaders. The winners will receive full sponsoring for the duration of the event, as well as see their contribution published on the Global Maritime Forum’s website.

In 2019, young talents from Nigeria, China and Denmark were named winners of the Global Maritime Forum’s Future Maritime Leaders essay competition. The three winners were selected among 140 essay contributions from 46 different countries around the world. The essays identified digitalization, environmental sustainability, geopolitics, the maritime workforce and their interlinkage as top issues among the next generation of maritime leaders.

With only ten years left to achieve the 17 SDG, world leaders at the SDG Summit in September 2019 and the UN Secretary-General called on all sectors of society and the youth to mobilize for a Decade of Action and delivery for sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.

At its heart are the 17 SDGs, which are an urgent call for action by all countries in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand- in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. 

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