Semarang – Central Java (22/11). The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by UNICEF which aim to address the problems faced by various countries in the world including environmental damage, climate change, food and agriculture crises and so on have 280 indicators. In achieving these indicators, the role of youth is needed as agents of change and the next generation of the nation.

Diponegoro University (Undip) as one of the leading higher education institutions in Indonesia supports the implementation of the SDGs through the Undip SDGs Center by holding international level discussion forums. This activity aims to increase awareness of the importance of SDGs, provide a place for exchanging ideas for students, and shape the character of future national leaders.

Collaborating with UI GreenMetric and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Indonesia, Undip held the 1st International Student Leaders Meeting 2022 forum with the theme “Collective Actions for Transforming Sustainable Universities in the Post-Pandemic Time” on November 21-23, 2022 at the Novotel Hotel Semarang and Marine Science and Techno Park (MSTP), Teluk Awur Jepara.

The 1st International Student Leaders Meeting 2022 series of events include International Conferences, Forum Group Discussions (FGD), International Youth Declaration on Sustainability Issues, Eco-enzyme Workshops, and Field Action: Mangrove Planting and Beach Cleaning which will be held at MSTP Teluk Awur Jepara. This event was attended by 60 students from 14 countries, including students from within the country and international students.

In his remarks, Undip Rector, Prof. Dr. Yos Johan Utama, S.H., M.Hum. welcomed international forum participants who are present in the city of Semarang, a city with the title of The Best Sustainable City in Indonesia in 2022 according to the UI Greenmetric ranking. “Through this forum, Undip provides SDGs relevance that is applicable in student activities, including symposiums, conferences and other academic and non-academic activities,” said Prof. Yos.

The implementation of SDGs related to education is accelerated to increase awareness of the importance of SDGs and to build international relations. “Hopefully the participants can enjoy this event and gain valuable experience,” said the Undip Rector.

Dr. Nyoman Suwartha, S.T., M.T., M.Agr. as Vice-Chair of Administration, Research and Development UI GreenMetric stated that this forum is a means of building the character of sustainable leaders. “I hope this event can be held again next year. Together we learn about the SDGs, new cultures, and hopefully useful knowledge can be obtained by the student delegations to support the implementation of the SDGs in their respective countries,” he said.

Representing the Governor of Central Java Ganjar Pranowo, Head of BPSDM Central Java Province Drs. Muhammad Arief Irwanto, M.Si. mentioned the importance of shaping the younger generation to become better leaders. “I believe the youth are great and extraordinary. To build a country, the most important thing is to build character. Great leaders are able to cultivate the existing potential to realize community welfare,” he said in his speech.

Prof. Dr. -Ing. Wiwandari Handayani in her opportunity explained the importance of this forum for future leaders to promote sustainability. “Create innovations and transformative actions to realize the SDGs in the future.”

The event was enlivened by a dance performance and ended with a group photo session. The 1st International Student Leaders Meeting 2022 activities would be continued with presentations from keynote speakers and Focus Group Discussions (FGD) on the second day and mangrove planting activities on the third day in Jepara. (Titis – Public Relations)

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