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At a glance: Denmark

Youth 'Climate Ambassador' captures the stage at Copenhagen conference

© UNICEF/2009/Becker-Jostes
UNICEF Climate Ambassador Mohamed Axam Maumoon, 15, from the Maldives, speaks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 9 December 2009 – Hundreds of United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) participants listened as newly minted UNICEF 'Climate Ambassador' Mohamed Axam Maumoon, 15, from Maldives, captured the stage here earlier this week.

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Axam spoke during a discussion with prominent adult co-panellists, including Danish Prime Minister and COP15 host Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Concordia 21 CEO and former Costa Rican President José Maria Figueres.

"The voices, the concerns and the pain of all the children of the world ring true in my heart," he said. "My eyes go moist, not when I see a movie, not when I lose a football game, certainly not when I give away my toys, but because I understand how it feels to see my future and be forced to let it go,"

Axam is one of eight Climate Ambassadors selected after last week's Children's Climate Forum to represent youth at the COP15.

'Time to act'

Speaking about living in an era of climate injustice, Axam added: "Those with more than enough are damaging our world blindly in the common cause of development, while those with nothing suffer to the point at which we just cannot see the end of it.

© UNICEF/2009/Donovan
Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen (left) and UNICEF Climate Ambassador Mohamed Axam Maumoon from Maldives meet during the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

"Since the future is for our children, you must first think about this: How old will your children be in 2050? Or will they be lucky to survive this dying earth? We are late, but not too late," he continued. "Trust me, the best time to act is now."

The panel discussion concluded with a standing ovation after Axam's speech.

Other speakers on the panel included Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International; Wang Guangtao, Chairman, Environment Protection and Resources Conservation Committee, National People's Congress of China; David Blood, Senior Partner, Generation Investment Management; and Katherine Richardson, Vice Dean, University of Copenhagen.




7 December 2009: UNICEF Climate Ambassador Mohamed Axam Maumoon, 15, speaks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
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