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Youth connects Pacific voices with Rio+20

© Kelvin Anthony
Recognize the realities and impact of climate change, take responsibility, demand accountability and act to reduce emissions

Suva, Fiji, 21 June 2012 – A 24 year old youth advocate from Fiji is these days promoting young people’s views at the Rio+20 climate change conference and around the world, using social networking to connect with some 2 million UNICEF Facebook fans worldwide.

 

Kelvin Anthony from Fiji took advantage of the opportunity that social media provides to engage with young people throughout the Pacific when he participated in the 6th World Youth Congress in Rio, Brazil, earlier this month, and continued this engagement as an official Fiji delegate to the Rio+20 preparatory meetings.

 

With almost a billion users, social media site Facebook has revolutionised the traditional media landscape. Supported by other popular social media sites like YouTube and Twitter, any young person with an internet connection can now share views, stories, videos and pictures with a global network. Thanks to social media, Pacific youth participation and engagement around the Rio + 20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is reaching far and wide.

 

Kelvin has been blogging, exchanging views, photos and videos with hundreds of other young people online since early May. At the time of the first United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio in 1992, most young people did not have access to email or the web. They were dependent on traditional media for information about global events, and unable to discuss issues and engage with their peers globally in real time.

 

Technology has changed all this, and, as Kelvin writes from Rio, “I used Facebook to gain insights and represent the views of other Pacific youth during the World Youth Congress and the Rio+20 preparatory meetings. Now I am using Facebook and YouTube to share what we did at the conference and the action plan we developed. Next I am going to promote new videos on climate change produced by Kiribati youth to Rio+20 participants. After the conference I will continue using social media to link up with even more young people and turn the action plans for a sustainable future into reality.”

 

Around the world many observers have already voiced concerns that the last 20 years of talks and negotiations have so far done little to improve conditions for a sustainable future of the planet. Youth participating in the World Youth Conference share this concern and Kelvin blogs from Rio about the possibility that the era of failed international negotiations may be about to be replaced by different and more sustainable youth-led actions.

 

“The challenge for our generation is to change our attitudes towards how we view the future. What will be different at the Rio+20 are the actions of young people in their local communities – modelling sustainable livelihoods and a vision to change the world!” Kelvin writes.

 

Join the dialogue: https://www.facebook.com/likeunicefpacific and http://www.voicesofyouth.org/sections/kelvins-road-to-rio Watch the videos on http://www.youtube.com/UnicefPacifik  Read more about Rio+20 on http://www.uncsd2012.org/

 

For more information, please contact Tomas Jensen, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Pacific– on +679 9925606 / tjensen@unicef.org or Communication Specialist Donna Hoerder – on +679 3300439 / dhoerder@unicef.org

 

 
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