Sweden begins campaign to support UN global goals


Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs has launched #FirstGeneration, an international campaign, in collaboration with international and local actors, intended to strengthen international efforts on the 2030 Agenda and help ensure that new and younger target groups take on the challenges linked to the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development.  

Almost half of the world’s population is under the age of 25. The key to a sustainable future will be determined by our ability to transform knowledge into engagement among young pupils and students. The campaign is intended to generate engagement in, strengthen communication on and broaden popular support for the 2030 Agenda and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

#FirstGeneration is part of public diplomacy efforts by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Swedish embassies around the world. By working together with other actors, Sweden can have a positive influence on the work of other countries. Sweden’s ambition is to remain an international role model and be a driving force in the global efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda and achieve the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Campaigning via networks

The #FirstGeneration campaign is being run in both digital and analogue form via a series of activities and collaboration between the Swedish MFA, Sweden’s embassies and consulates abroad and local and international actors. Activities around the world will highlights the Global Goals, and young people will be the focus. Teachers, educators and activists who can influence and inspire young people in the area of sustainable development are the true heroes.

“We believe in the power of networks, and that together with other actors we can engage and draw attention to young people and teachers, educators and activists around the world. Our joint networks offer us the opportunity to reach out to and influence much larger numbers of people. Many actors are hugely engaged in helping to achieve the Global Goals,” says Miriam Mannbro, project leader for the #FirstGeneration campaign.

In addition to activities and initiatives being implemented by some 30 Swedish embassies in collaboration with local actors, two major events will be held in 2016.

In June, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate Isabella Lövin and Minister for Education Gustav Fridolin will take part in a seminar in New York.

The focus of the seminar will be young people’s engagement and the important role of teachers and educators in inspiring young people. Other participants will include representatives of UNESCO, the UNDP and AIESEC, the world’s largest student organisation.

#FirstGeneration will culminate in Stockholm on 5 October, which is World Teachers’ Day and falls just after the first anniversary of the adoption of the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Some 20 teachers and activists from around the world will be invited to Stockholm, where they will be celebrated for their contributions to engagement among young people.

At a historic meeting in autumn 2015, all 193 member states of the United Nations agreed on 17 Global Goals and 169 targets for a better, more sustainable future. Sweden was a driving force throughout the negotiations, and our ambition is to continue to push for the international implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

In the #FirstGeneration campaign, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is working with UNESCO Sweden, the UNDP, the WWF, We_change, CSR Sweden, the Swedish Teachers’ Union and the Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development (SWEDESD). Local collaboration with a large number of other actors will take place in some 30 countries around the world through seminars, innovative competitions and social media.


Swedish Government