South African high school learners to engage in youth negotiations on the proposed United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

02 December 2014


Fifty-five outstanding high school learners have been selected from across South Africa to participate in the third annual youth negotiations at the SAIIA Young Leaders Conference which commenced on 30 November and will conclude on 5 December 2014. Click here for the delegates' profiles.

This year’s conference is focusing on the seventeen proposed United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs form part of the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda, and will serve as a basis for global development for the next fifteen years. Learner delegates will discuss and debate the cross-cutting issues, and will host their own negotiation sessions in three thematic consultation committees: Economic; Environmental; and Social.

The SAIIA Young Leaders Conference forms part of Youth@SAIIA’s programmes for high schools.

Each learner delegate has been assigned a research perspective to report back on to the rest of their committee. Research perspectives are based on work learners have done throughout the year, and reflect the multiple stakeholder groups that are connected to their committee theme. The negotiation process provides learners with a platform to produce workable and realistic solutions.

The negotiations, to be held on 1, 2 and 3 December at SAIIA, will culminate in the presentation of youth recommendations and the handover of the 2014 SAIIA Young Leaders Declaration on 4 December at the Department of Environmental Affairs. Representatives of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the United Nations, as well as members of the diplomatic community will also be in attendance.

The media is invited to attend negotiation sessions and the final declaration presentation to hear the voice of young South African leaders on current global challenges.

RSVP to Banele Mabena on + 27 73 297 9409 or

For further details:

Please contact SAIIA's Communications Manager,
Hopewell Radebe
Cell: +27 83 582 1734 or
Tel: +27 11 339 2021
E-mail: Or

Department of Environmental Affairs Spokepserson,

Albi Modise
Cell: +27 83 490 2871

Events details: Click here to download the programme.

Plenary Sessions

Date: 1, 2, 3 December 2014

Time: 9h00 - 1h00

Venue: SAIIA Hall, Wits University East Campus

Youth Negotiation Sessions

Date: 1, 2, 3 December 2014

Time: 12h00 - 17h00

Venue: SAIIA Hall, Wits University East Campus

Presentation of the 2014 SAIIA Young Leaders Declaration

Date: 4 December 2014

Time: 11h00-13h00

Venue: Department of Environmental Affairs, Environment House, 473 Steve Biko Street, Arcadia, Pretoria (Cnr. Steve Biko (previously Beatrix Street) and Soutpansberg Road)

The 2014 SAIIA Young Leaders Conference is made possible by the generous support of Sasol and Absa.

SAIIA has been voted the leading think tank in Sub-Saharan Africa for the fifth consecutive year in the University of Pennsylvania's Global Think Tank Survey.