Youth Declaration developed on Climate Change at Advocacy & Youth Forum 2023
Youths touted the event a success
Georgetown, Guyana, August 11, 2023 After a successful three-day Advocacy and Youth Forum by the Rights of the Child Commission (RCC) and UNICEF Guyana with 150 youths from Guyana, the youths have drafted a youth declaration on climate change.
The three-day event held in recognition of International Youth Day 2023 observed on August 12 saw a range of discussions on Climate Change, Green Skills and Youth, Entrepreneurship and Youth, Life Skills, Mental Health and Youth and Immunization.
Youths at the forum touted the event a success that saw many solutions to issues surrounding the topic areas discussed.
Participant at the event, Delroy Marks of Region six said the forum encouraged him to use his voice as a youth. “I have met a lot of youths from across the country that are very passionate about the same topics as me which include climate change, mental health, human rights and children rights. This forum allowed me to create a voice to bring awareness and create an impact in society,” Marks said.
Sharing similar sentiments was another participant at the event, Kimora Payne of Region four who said, “From this forum I have learned a lot about green skills and the part youths play in making the world a better place. I also learned there are better ways to help with the earth and global warming, and I am really happy to have been apart of such a forum.”
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson during the final day panel discussion said he is proud of the initiative coming out of youths at the event. “Being able to raise the awareness and be part of the global conversation is really important for the kind of future we are going to inherit. Climate change is real and is caused by a lot of our activities. We have to find the solutions…and I am extremely pleased to join in the conversation,” he said.
Commenting on the forum and assembling of the youth declaration on climate change, UNICEF Deputy Representative, Irfan Akhtar noted the forum has achieved its goal. “This forum was very engaging and strategic in terms of bringing youths from different regions to reflect and discuss on various issues like climate change and other issues affecting them. They have developed a plan of action and drafted a youth declaration that will guide and shape their intentions going forward,” Akhtar said.
Chief Executive Officer of RCC, Andre Gonsalves expressed contentment with the three-day event. He said “I cannot wait for them [the youths] to present it [youth declaration] to the government and other stakeholders. I know its going to be an inclusive document. It includes voices from the National Toshao Council (NTC), the indigenous people’s group and the migrant groups.”
“They spoke highly of including indigenous voices…so there are so many angles, topics and issues to be addressed. I am very proud of my Guyanese youths and children for the position they are taking to advocate for their rights,” he added.
The three-day forum concluded with a panel discussion and mini exhibition led by the United Nations Resident Coordinator in collaboration with the UN Guyana Volunteers.
Also, in attendance at the closing of the event was British High Commissioner to Guyana, H.E Jane Miller, United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative, Gerardo Noto to name a few.
This year, International Youth Day is observed under the theme, “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World.”
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.