The Millennium Declaration, issued in the year 2000 was designed to improve the lives of the world’s citizens and many unprecedented achievements have been made. Nevertheless, extensive poverty, joblessness, and gross inequalities persist, particularly among young people who, at the time, represented some 40 percent of the world’s unemployed. Poverty reduction thus then and now remains the greatest global challenge and needs to be dealt with urgently.
Member nations of the UN emphasized the need to change unsustainable consumption patterns and protect and manage the natural resource base of economic and social development.
They have also recognized that people are at the center of sustainable development and accordingly the world must strive for promoting sustainable and inclusive economic and social development, environmental protection for the benefit of children, youth and future generatiions without distinction of any kind, e.g. age, sex, disability, culture, race, ethnic origin, migratory status, religious or economic or other status.
The world’s population is becoming younger, calling for addressing the global challenges in a context where issues of youth are central and calls for involving them. UNFPA has recognized that young people are the agents of our common future. As early as 1994, the international Conference on Population and Development came up with, and subsequently revisited in a high level meeting at the UN , the concept of the demographic dividend. This concept recognizes that combined improvements in health, education and economic management provide an opportunity to create conditions where the world’s large youthful population could move into highly productive jobs and boost family and national incomes and people the world over could enjoy a better life.
We are therefore at a stage of development where focusing on youth and youth leadership, entrepreneurship, and youth employment is a priority.
Another driving force for creating the organization is that as founder of the organization Mary Symmonds during her over three decades of development experience during which she observed that the investments that the United Nations has made in capacity development have paid off. Capacities have been built extensively at the local, middle and national levels.
Knowledgeable and capable people are located in institutions across the developing world and yet the changes that are required to guarantee a better life were not being evidenced sufficiently. She came to the conclusion that a missing element was a commitment to something that is greater than ourselves. A key element of leadership.
The Global Leadership Coalition was thus born out of a desire to create young, ethical leadership. During this gestation period what she saw that was also needed was action that was transformative and that would involve creation of jobs.
Research showed that many institutions were addressing specific UN goals such as health and education but few were addressing entrepreneurship and those who did were addressing it as a stand alone. She therefore sought to find a partner who could help the organization develop an entrepreneurship pillar. It was during this period of creation that in 2014 Mary was introduced to Manav Subodh of 1M1B an institution which aimed to create 1 million jobs that would impact 1 billion people. This thus started the partnership with 1M1B. After the first 3 years GLC designed its own entrepreneurship programme.