COP28, Youth Climate Champion advance youth engagement at ECOSOC through events, consultations

COP28, Youth Climate Champion advance youth engagement at ECOSOC through events, consultations

NEW YORK, 4th May, 2023 (WAM) -- The COP28 Presidency and the COP28 Youth Climate Champion (YCC) team rolled out a series of engagement events for youth during the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum in New York with over 200 youth participants.

Highlighting the essential role of youth in climate action, the first event, ‘Harnessing the Power of Youth Climate Action’ was co-organised with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The event brought together over 70 worldwide participants representing country delegations, development partners, and youth climate advocates.

To provide youth with an opportunity to share their honest opinions, perspectives, and expectations for COP28, the team conducted a global consultation session with over 30 participants in collaboration with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Youth Constituency (YOUNGO).

During the consultation, participants discussed the opportunities and challenges for youth engagement ahead of COP28 and expressed appreciation for the YCC’s role within the COP28 Presidency to elevate the voices of young people around the world and mobilise constructive youth engagement.

On the partnerships front, the team conducted over 20 meetings and dialogues with leading international organisations such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the Office of the United Nation Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, as well as various countries’ permanent missions to the UN such as Costa Rica, Zambia, and Kenya to introduce the YCC role and promote international cooperation.

Furthermore, the team organised a networking reception with over 100 participants, where Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN, gave the opening remarks.

The attendees were representatives from the UAE Permanent Mission from UN agencies, Country Missions, ECOSOC delegates, YOUNGO members, other youth-led organisations, and Emirati students. Participants learned about the Presidency's plans for youth engagement and the YCC’s role within the COP28 Presidency.

In that regard, Shamma Al Mazrui, UAE Minister of Community Development and the COP28 Youth Climate Champion (YCC), elaborated on her ambitions as YCC within COP28, “Meaningful youth empowerment is a critical pillar towards the success of COP28 because we recognise that the energy and ingenuity young people bring to the table are key drivers in propelling momentum and groundbreaking solutions needed to invigorate the pathway towards our 2030 goals.

“The COP28 Presidency will build platforms that connect youth to policymakers and decision-makers, ensuring they have a voice in the multilateral climate processes. We are committed to delivering an inclusive approach that leaves no one behind and engages with all segments of society, especially our young people.”

The role of YCC calls for integrating four fundamental pillars in all their activities: Participation, Action, Voice, and Education (PAVE). YCC ensures effective youth participation and climate action encouragement, amplifies youth voices, and provides environmental and institutional learning opportunities for youth from all over the world.

In March 2023, the COP28 Presidency launched its ‘International Youth Climate Delegates Programme’, the largest initiative of its kind to empower young people worldwide to fully participate in the COP process, with a special focus on youth from least developed countries and small island developing states.