The United Nations has this week appointed an LGBTIQ youth representative to two landmark initiatives.
The organisation said the move represents progress towards LGBTIQ youth leading the way to a more sustainable and inclusive future for all.
Today’s launch of the 2020 class of 17 Young Leaders for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) means that LGBTIQ youth voices will be heard among those driving action to support the 2030 Agenda.
Bulgarian activist Martin Karadzhov, chair of ILGA World’s Youth Steering Committee, will be part of the group of changemakers, all aged between 18 and 29, who will be collectively tasked with activating millions of young people in support of the SDGs.
“Being a young leader for the SDGs is an opportunity to help break down barriers for LGBTIQ youth, advocate for our rights, and amplify the voices of those too often sidelined and silenced on a global level,” Karadzhov said.
In a separate initiative, Karadzhov is also part of the new High-Level Commission of advocates, experts, and activists established to help turn into action the commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights made at the 2019 Nairobi Summit on the International Conference on Population and Development.
During the summit, the world saw a strong call to focus on the distinct needs and rights of LGBTIQ youth, said a United Nations representative.
The specific challenges of LGBTIQ young people have been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but activists around the world have stepped up to provide vital peer and crisis support for communities that governments have largely disregarded.
For LGBTIQ youth to be included among the young leaders for both initiatives means having a chance to be heard at the international level and an active part in the decision-making and conversations that will impact their lives.
According to the United Nations, it will also give them the shared task of helping mobilise millions of young people to take action and collectively move towards a more just and inclusive future.