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FAO Liaison Office in New York

GreenThumb Young Leadership Council Graduation brings attention to the Sustainable Development Goals.


New York - Every person can play a role to achieve the SDGs. This was the message echoed by the young gardeners of the GreenThumb Youth Leadership Council (YLC) programme during their graduation event at UN Headquarters.

For the 4th year, FAO partnered up with NYC Parks and the UN Food Garden to bring the GreenThumb YLC Graduation to the United Nations. For the first time, the NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs also joined the initiative. The event gathered over 120 members of the YLC, as well as parents and gardeners from all five boroughs of New York City.

“The way we handle food systems and nutrition has a huge potential to accelerate progress towards the SDGs.” stated Ms. Carla Mucavi, Director of the FAO Liaison Office in New York, while discussing the close interlikanges between urban agriculture and the achievement of SDG2.

Ms. Aissata Camara, Deputy Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, drew from her own experience as a young person growing up in New York City and the importance of programmes such as YLC to build confidence and leadership skills in children and youth. Mr. Sam Biederman, Assistant Commissioner of NYC Parks, encouraged the graduates to “Keep thinking of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and how you can use them to make your own community vibrant and healthy”.

During the graduation, the young gardeners presented videos that showcased the relationship between their work in urban agriculture and the achievement of the SDGs. Beyond SDG 2, on Zero Hunger, YLC graduates also discussed SDG 5, on Gender Equality, 15, on Life on Land, 12, on Responsible Consumption and Production and 16, on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

The UN Food Gardens is a voluntary UN staff initiative that is establishing food gardens on the premises of the UN Headquarters. Its aim is to help the UN translate global priorities related to sustainable food systems and greener cities into action and lead by example.