The Conference of Youth (COY) officially started on the 2nd of November and during the opening ceremony of COY, as many as 1300 youth participants were present from 140 nations. During this ceremony, Adriana Valenzuela, the focal point for Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) with the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) gave a speech to the COY13 participants. She opened her speech by stressing the importance of protecting the people and life in from climate change. She emphasized on how young people would be the leaders and champions of tomorrow.
She reminded us that in order to move forward, we as global citizens needed to move and act with potency. She also mentioned on developing the right change to promote sustainable lifestyle and vocalised on the urgency required in this matter. Adriana mentioned that UNFCCC need youth at COY to inspire the rest of the youth around the world, so that they too can contribute to meaningful transformation. In the interest of doing so, she added that the youth needed to establish partnerships with the government towards integrating implementation of climate action at national levels. One of the initial crucial step to get up there was through education.
Adriana explained to the floor on how we cannot change the world without educating and fostering capable change. To bring about that, we must invest more resources into education which prosper public action involvement, awareness and development. Adriana then mentioned that during COP23, there would commemorate 9th of November for the Youth and Future Generation (YoFuGe) day and the Education day on the 16th of November. These days memorializes the belief of Adriana for the Youth and Education to be the main focal point for climate action.
She then says how we, as COY13, are united in our mission for rapid climate action that would be furious, faster and a movement that would act in solidarity. Although the task may at times seem doubting and demanding, it would be a part and parcel of climate action. Adriana spoke this from the bottom of her heart as she was a youth delegate and had organized the Latin American youth movement that globalized Latin countries.
Her message during COY13 resonates among the MYD17 members as Malaysia’s combat against climate change was similar. The lack of exposure towards climate issues among the people, the lack of climate action urgency and sense of disempowerment in communities are of the many issues Malaysians face. This year’s COP23 hosted by Fiji will be an important platform for MYD17 to make Malaysians more aware of climate action as the agenda for COP23 would primarily be:
1) Capturing progress on the implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement
2) Consultation on the organization for facilitative dialogue
We need to work on our dreams, our passion and our ideas because only then we can make a difference. Adriana made her closing remarks by stating a quote from John F. Kennedy; “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.
MYD17 hopes that COP23 be aligned to the Fijian slogan of Talanoa and the spirit of Bula, which expressed the meaningful participatory dialog that was inclusive; bringing people’s concerns and issues to express their ideas, and create a realistic practical solution for climate change, which is Fiji’s presidency mission for COP23 to accelerate climate action.
Written by Azam
Edited by Varun