Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development –

Youth has claims towards the international society

Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development –

Youth has claims towards the international society

The young generation wants to be there when decisions about our planet are made. They claim answers and solutions for fundamental problems such as poverty, environmental pollution and climate change. It is about our future, the future of today’s kids and youth. This is the reason and a challenge for youthinkgreen to participate at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20.

Our major goals are a world without poverty, more participation in the political, social and economical spheres, as well as a healthy environment to live at.

We need to check and correct our lifestyles and aspirations worldwide. Youth in Europe should take up a leading role in changing ways of consumption to show it is possible to live well regardless of income.

Our contribution to Rio+20 was: only with local efforts and sustainable thinking we can move forward. Our activities were supported by our partners school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a small youthinkgreen delegation from Germany. Take a look at the catalogue we have developed for the UN Conference.

We had the chance to talk with Mr. Peter Altmaier (ret.) the German Federal Ministry of Environment while in Brazil. 

At the beginning of the conference I have met pupils and students from different countries, Brazil, Egypt and Germany who work together in the youthinkgreen initiative. They gave me this green thread. This thread should remind all of us, that we, the politicians have responsibility for the future generations.

Prior to the UN Conference, the event “Date with history”, gave young people from all over the world the possibility to request prompt and courageous action from politicians and decision makers in order to save the future of our planet. Youth aged 13 to 19 years old held speeches were they expressed their visions and concerns about the future of our planet.

The climate ambassadors from youthinkgreen also participated in this contest with their speeches they have previously prepared during the international climate week in Wolfsburg. Two of them even made it to the finals! For more information please click here:

And what do the young delegates from youthinkgreen say concerning their engagement at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development?

And what do the young delegates from youthinkgreen say concerning their engagement at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development?

Caroline Tisson from Osnabrück:

Concerning the results I am pretty disappointed. I thought if so many important people come together, they can really move issues forward. They probably can do so, but they are having trouble wanting it. It’s pretty disappointing to see how many heads of state say they want to do something for conserving the environment for future generations, but when it really comes to doing it, the economic and political interest are always higher in the hierarchy. I think it’s somehow cowardly to hide behind such things.

Yannick Klecker from Osnabrück:

I have hoped that Rio+20 really generates a spirit of optimism and that also the majority of the population thinks about today’s lifestyles. Unfortunately, this summit only spread disillusioning messages and does not really help to implement the goals of sustainable lifestyles.
I also became aware that you can’t reach a lot without a strategy. It’s important to plan ahead and still be spontaneous. We were always concerned about mastering this balancing act. This has become clear during our side event. First, important names have promised to participate and eventually we had to implement the programme without them.
I also feel that through my participation in Rio I have made a huge step towards being a “world citizen”. Being in contact with other cultures is easier for me and also visiting the flagship favela showed me how privileged we live here in Germany. When finishing school we can say with complete justification that the world is open to us. We have the chance to do with our lives what we want to. The kids from the Favela will probably never have this feeling.

Ahmed Hamza from Cairo:

The biggest benefit for me was to participate at this conference – to be taken seriously at my age and not be treated as a child who rather wants to play but as a climate ambassador.

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