The virtual competition focusing on Youth Engagement in Post-Pandemic Recovery


Jakarta, 28 October 2020 — University of Padjajaran has been named the winner of the second annual Indonesian SDGs Debate, with a focus on youth engagement amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bandung-based University in West Java / The Cikarang-based University in West Java peformed the best among the 250 university teams from across Indonesia in a two-week marathon virtual event. University of Padjajaran took the top spot following a fierce final with finalist President University in a livestreaming session.

Titled “Bright YOUth, Better Planet”, the virtual event was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Tanoto Foundation.

“My heartfelt congratulations to the winner of this year’s SDG Debate. I also want to congratulate all the participants, first of all, for their interest and commitment to SDGs, but also for their excellent contribution in the debate. I believe this was a fulfilling and enriching experience for more than 300 young men and women who participated in the debates competition, and this event has enabled them to sharpen their knowledge of the Global Goals, their critical thinking and leadership skills. This is the defining decade for SDGs, agenda which is more relevant during these days of COVID pandemic, than ever before. This debate is part of UNDP’s drive to instil SDGs DNA among the young minds in Indonesia,” said Sophie Kemkhadze, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Indonesia.

The announcement coincided with the National Youth Pledge Day on Oct. 28, a historic day for the country which cherishes nationwide youth participation before the founding of the Republic of Indonesia.

“With radical changes happening at an unprecedented level amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to nurture our young leaders with critical thinking and creativity has become more urgent than ever. I believe a debate event like this can help our country better in preparing the young minds to fast-track the SDG achievements, in the face of unprecedented challenges,” said Amalia Adininggar Widyasanti, Senior Advisor to The Minister for Economy and Financing, Ministry of National Development Planning BAPPENAS.

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 backdrop that this year’s event highlighted how young Indonesians responded to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they acted on the SDGs agenda.

“The SDGs debate has attracted motivated students who seek to gain valuable skills in their future workforce, such as negotiation and analytical thinking. The debate helps the students to have first-hand experience in attaining and defending knowledge and this process can be empowering and rewarding,” said J. Satrijo Tanudjojo, Global CEO, Tanoto Foundation.

UNDP and the Tanoto Foundation have a long history of partnership in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda. In February 2016, UNDP and the Tanoto Foundation teamed up to integrate SDGs into subnational 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 the Tanoto Foundation set up the SDG Academy, a learning platform to fast-track SDGs progress in the country.

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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

Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas

Fadlan Muzzaki, Public Communication Specialist (Sekretariat Nasional SDGs Indonesia - Kementerian PPN/Bappenas) 0813-8005-1990

Tanoto Foundation Communications Manager, Beatrice Susanto, beatrice@tanotofoundation.or

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