Jakarta, 8 October 2020 — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Tanoto Foundation will host the second annual Indonesian SDGs Debate, with a focus on youth engagement amid the COVID 19 pandemic.

Titled “Bright YOUth, Better Planet”, the virtual event will kick off from October 12-26, 2020. It will commemorate Youth Pledge Day on Oct. 28 and is part of UNDP’s support for the Government of Indonesia’s engagement with youth to create a discourse on global affairs and to instil an "SDGs DNA" among young Indonesian.

Over 100 university teams throughout Indonesia are expected to participate. The teams will be grouped into four regions. All participants will participate in a coaching clinic before the event kicks off on Oct. 12. The winner will be announced at a special ceremony on the Youth Pledge Day on Oct 28.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially challenging for youth who, despite their struggles, have continued to reach out to vulnerable communities and volunteer to assist marginalized groups.

It is against this background that this year’s event highlights how young Indonesians respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 and how they act on the SDGs agenda.

“As future leaders, it is important that youth are engaged with a global vision. Events such as these debates provide a platform for youth engagement with the SDGs and also recognize that youth hold one of the key elements to building back better from COVID-19 and to put SDGs back on track as we work to recover from the pandemic,“ said Sophie Kemkhadze, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Indonesia.

October has been dubbed ‘youth month’ in Indonesia, with the event marking the importance of a whole of society approach to the SDGs.

“Creating conditions for active youth participation is important. Debates encourage a competitive spirit and provide young people an opportunity to learn more about the SDGs and their role in assisting the country meet its targets in the decade ahead,” said J. Satrijo Tanudjojo, Global CEO, Tanoto Foundation.

UNDP and the Tanoto Foundation have a long history of partnership in meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda. In February 2016, UNDP and Tanoto Foundation teamed up to integrate SDGs into sub-national agenda in Riau province. The Foundation also supported UNDP’s Sustainable Palm Oil Initiative (SPOI) by assisting independent and plasma smallholders to manage palm oil plantations in a sustainable manner. Last year, the Government of Indonesia, UNDP, and Tanoto Foundation set up the SDG Academy, a learning platform to fast-track SDGs progress in the country.

“As we deal with the various challenges facing our country and the world at large, it is important that youth develop skills that will equip them with the ability to lead. Events such as debates build critical thinking skills which improve the way they communicate, engage and lead,” said Amalia Adininggar Widyasanti, from BAPPENAS.


A selection of the debates, including the final round will air on UNDP's social media channels and on our broadcast media partners' platforms.


Media Contact

UNDP Indonesia UNDP Communication Specialist, Tomi Soetjipto, Suryo.tomi@undp.org


UNDP Indonesia UNDP SDGs Advisor, Juliaty Ansye Sopacua, juliaty.sopacua@undp.org



Fadlan Muzzaki, Public Communication Specialist,

Sekretariat Nasional SDGs Indonesia - Kementerian PPN/Bappenas.


Tanoto Foundation Communications Manager, Beatrice Susanto, Beatrice@tanotofoundation.org

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