The fourth session of the WFO Gymnasium training programme arrived in the heart of the largest annual gathering on SDG implementation, the UN High-Level Political Forum 2019, with 16 young farmers from all over the world gathering together in New York, for two weeks of networking, debates and skills training.

Under the theme “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, the July 2019 session of the WFO Gymnasium trained the participants on what is the history of the stakeholders’ engagement in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, from its designed up to date. Representatives from key multilateral Organizations and private sector entities joined the class on July 13th and 14th to share their experience in this context.

Lecturers at this session included Gwilym Roberts – Harry, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs; Barrie Bain, International Fertilizer Association; Zak Bleicher, IFAD; Lola García-Alix, Indigenous Peoples Major Group; Steve S.J. Lee, UN Major Group for Children and Youth.

The impact of this Gymnasium Session will live on long after our young farmers have returned to their home, not only for the varied and inspirational lessons, but above all for having had the chance to be involved in the works of the UN High-Level Political Forum 2019, that took place from July 9th to 18th at UN headquarters in New York.

They took the floor to represent WFO and its positions, as panellists in several side events and as spokespersons during the Official Sessions: Ahou Lea Kouassi, from Ivory Coast, spoke on behalf of farmers at the International Day of Cooperatives celebration; Jannes Maes, from Belgium, brought farmers’ perspective to the table of the side event “AGRICULTURAL INPUTS TOWARDS GOAL 13”; Anne Schwagerl, from Minnesota, represented WFO at the event “FARMERS AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES JOINING HANDS TO BOOST THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SDG 13 AND ITS LINK TO SDG 2”; Veronica Barbati, from Italy, addressed the audience of the side event “THE LAUNCH OF THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE ON FAMILY FARMING (2019-2028): Synergies and main contributions to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”; Aubriel Jones took the floor at the side event on trade and Sustainable Development to highlight the importance of considering farmers on trade discussions; Innocent Jumbe, from Malawi, intervened at the event “What Major Groups and other Stakeholders want out of the HLPF review?”; Dimakatso Sekoto, from South Africa, had the opportunity to present an official statement from WFO at the Official Meeting on SDG13.

All of them had clearly played their part in demonstrating young farmers’ forward-looking approach to work on challenges and opportunities of the global agriculture!