Scouting steps into the spotlight at the UN General Assembly

Last week, world leaders, Heads of State,and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) convened in New York for the fast-paced, high-level segment of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, and for the first time in recent years, Scouting made it to centre stage. 


At the International Day of Peace celebration at the UN, a delegation of Scouting’s best and brightest from around the world were on hand to be recognised as Messengers of Peace Heroes at the UN Headquarters where they gifted UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres one billion hours of service on behalf of 50 million Scouts. The group also met the President of the General Assembly, María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, who was on her 3rd day in office.


"The work of the world doesn't stop on Friday, and that's why we need Scouts. I hope you can be my ambassadors, the spokespeople of peace for the United Nations General Assembly,” she remarked.


The gift symbolised the work Scouts are already doing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and build a more peaceful world.


After touring UN halls, attending capacity building sessions, and telling their impact stories, our Scouts continued to the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly where Scouting was featured at some of the week’s key events. 


The Scout Movement made it clear that it’s ready to be a key strategic partner for some of the most urgent efforts to unleash the potential of young people and contribute to sustainable developmentby joining the launch of the UN Youth Strategy, making a commitment around the upcoming “Scoutsfor SDGs” mobilisation as well as having the Scout Movement featured at the SDG Leaders Reception among five key global commitments recognised by the UN this year. The Scout Movement is now also an official member of the Global Board of theof UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited initiative, which aims to offer a global partnership for scaling up initiatives addressing youth development.   


At the launch of the UN’s first-ever Youth Strategy, Natascha Skjaldgaard, a Danish Youth Delegate to the UN and Scout from Denmark, spoke alongside her Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, highlighting the importance of inclusive youth participation in its implementation. The Prime Minster mentioned in his remarks that as a Scout, he “learned the values of individual responsibility for our community" and hoped others would have the same opportunity.  


At the HeForShe IMPACT Summit, an annual event hosted by UN Women and attended by Heads of States and CEOs of leading companies, World Scouting represented by the Secretary General, Ahmad Alhendawi, was announced as a HeForShe IMPACT Champion, joining the ranks of some of the world’s most influential organisations to spearhead the fight for gender equality, and moving from being a strategic partner of the initiative to one of the key players driving its success. 


Scouting was also in the spotlight online with a Facebook Live interview on the UN’s Facebook page, which has over four million followers, and through participation in an SDG Media Zone panel with Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and Under Secretary-General of Global Communications. 


The Secretary General, held a series of bilateral meetings with Heads of States, senior government and UN officials as well as the private sector. He also represented the Movement at the annual meeting of the Global Business Coalition for Education.


 Together, the youth delegation of Scout leaders and participation in activities throughout the General Assembly helped strengthen ties with our partners and set the stage for our future engagement, especially in relation to the expected launch of “Scouts for SDGs” mobilisation later this year.