In Antigua, the island’s youth build a wall of commitment to turn the tide against the climate crisis

The Global Action Summit on Children and Youth SIDS taking place this weekend on the campus of the University of the West Indies in the beautiful island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, which is hosting SIDS4, brought together 80 or so young people from the three regions Caribbean SIDS official. , Pacific and AIS (Indian Ocean and South China Sea) during the 3 days of brainstorming.

Loudly and excitedly, they descended into a large, airy university hall on Saturday to write their personal commitments to action.

Engagement wall built by delegates of the SIDS Global Action Summit on Children and Youth ahead of the SIDS4 conference in Antigua and Barbuda.

Engagement wall built by delegates of the SIDS Global Action Summit on Children and Youth ahead of the SIDS4 conference in Antigua and Barbuda.

Another brick in the wall

One of the cardboard bricks even featured an empty plastic bottle, tucked inside many of their island homelands with a call for plastic-free, sustainable islands.

The powerful event was the brainchild of Ashley Lashley, a lifelong activist who, after being crowned Miss World Barbados 2018, created the Ashley Lashley Foundation to raise awareness of key social, environmental and health issues, particularly through the lens of small states island. like hers.

UNICEF Youth Advocate and co-organizer of the SIDS Global Action Summit for Children and Youth, Ashley Lashley.
UNICEF Youth Advocate Ashley Lashley.

She convinced several powerful partners to join her crusade and advocacy mission, with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) organizing the youth summit together with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.

UNICEF’s pioneering Youth Advocate has been working for months on a commitment to action that includes in-person and online consultations, culminating in the Saturday launch and wall-building initiative.

The focus is on four overarching themes that also relate to the SIDS4 conference: resilient recovery; environmental integrity and planetary sustainability; a secure future and secure and prosperous societies, she said UN news.

The UN reproductive rights agency UNFPA, the Caribbean Development Bank and the governments of Malta and Australia have also supported the summit, plus the Global Environment Foundation, she added.

Tell and tell

On Friday, youth delegates saw for themselves some of the environmental damage caused by climate change on Antigua’s coasts and hills, including the alarming disappearance of coral reefs due to warming tropical waters.

On Saturday they received master classes in advocacy, communication, movement building and policy negotiation, culminating in the monumental wall. On Sunday they developed action projects that will last ten years within their regions.

We hope that the projects will receive technical and financial assistance We are in the middle, but there is still a lot to do, to release the full power in the hall, she said.

Noah Herlaar-Hassan, 17, from the tiny Caribbean diving oasis of Bonaire, said vulnerable SIDS in the lowlands are the first to feel the effects of many things, especially the climate crisis.

What people who don’t live with SIDS need to realize is that even if they can’t feel the direct effects, they have a huge role in changing the eventual outcomes, it’s our generation that will have to pay the biggest price and that is why we are here today. , to see how we can be stronger as a collective.

The future in our hands

Adelaide Nafoi, 25, from the Pacific island of Samoa, said UN news she was at the summit doubling as the Pacific delegate to SIDS4 to envision a better future for her country, the region and the world.

The voices of youth hold the future of all our nations, as today’s changemakers.

To all young people around the world just remember that your voices are not just echoes in the wind. Your voice changes the future of you, your siblings, your cousins, your families and your country.

I urge you to recognize the immense power that resides within each of you. It is the power that brings change and can bring us to a better future. For anyone who is afraid to speak up, now is your time to speak up because if you don’t – no one will speak up for your youth and your nation.

Global Action Summit for Children and Youth SIDS delegate Renee Smith (left) after completing her section of the engagement wall to present at the SIDS4 conference.

Global Action Summit for Children and Youth SIDS delegate Renee Smith (left) after completing her section of the engagement wall to present at the SIDS4 conference.

Separation and care

Renee Smith, 28, from the Caribbean island of Grenada, added her brick to the wall by committing to ocean protection through awareness and responsible behavior among youth and communities.

She said they shared the burden of being disproportionately affected by climate change and were together at the summit so that developed countries could hear our concern and help mitigate the impacts we face.

Sharing awareness among all generations is essential, she added, pleading with young people in particular to continue to conserve and protect the ecosystems around them.

After the SIDS4 conference ends, Ms. Lashley is determined that the energy generated at the youth summit will not fade, continuing into the UN Future Summit and COP29.

Be sure to develop a youth action task force to really ensure that commitments to action and action projects are being developed and monitored.

We as young people often talk about holding our leaders accountable, but the basis of this summit is that we as young people and children are actually willing to be responsible for the actions we are taking for future generations.

The role of the private sector in resource mobilization is essential: UN chief

In his first major speech since arriving in Antigua and Barbuda on Sunday for the SIDS4 conference, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a sustained commitment from the international community to support vulnerable island nations and public money was needed. they would not be enough.

Multi-stakeholder partnerships, including the private sector, will be essentialhe continued, addressing the Global SIDS Business Network Forum on Sunday.

Financing renewable energy, sustainable tourism and climate resilience will need to include private sector funds, expertise and innovation, he told investors.

Governments must take the lead with regulations and policies through strong and accountable public institutions, while development banks mobilize private funds at reasonable costs.

Private sector plan

He said there were three ways the private sector could play its role more effectively.

First, taking deliberate, time-limited action to align your activities with the Sustainable Development Goals, in all dimensions of your businesses.

Second, prioritizing climate action with credible and verifiable plans to reduce net zero carbon emissions.

This means addressing emissions reductions across the board, with a view to maritime defense and the decarbonisation of the transport sector, the UN chief said.

Third, he called on leaders to push for greater ambitions to achieve the 17 ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially climate action.

The Global SIDS Business Network Forum has helped mobilize the private sector and provides a clear entry point for the private sector into the SIDS agenda, he said.

Going digital

Now the network can expand digital connectivity and provide access and affordability, added Mr. Guterres, which is essential for improving access to education and health care and enhancing disaster preparedness, prevention and response.

A digital transformation also means more diversification, especially for women and young people.

The global financial system is outdated, dysfunctional and unfair

Strengthening the Global Business Network, together with the SIDS Partnership Framework, will help support the implementation of the ideas expressed today.

He said the financial challenges facing small island states were also symptomatic of financial turmoil in the developing world more generally.

The global financial system is outdated, dysfunctional and unfair, and is failing to provide a safety net for many debt-ridden developing economies, he added. The United Nations is pressing for deep reforms to make it more representative of today’s world and more responsive to today’s challenges.

He concluded with a call to work towards a better, more resilient and sustainable future for all.

Together let’s raise our voices for the reforms needed for a fairer and more effective international financial and economic system. provide SIDS with the resources and capacity it deserves and needs.

#Antigua #islands #youth #build #wall #commitment #turn #tide #climate #crisis
Image Source :

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top