Samoa Youth Sign Joint Youth Declaration on Climate Change for COP21

Nov 16, 2015

After the signing ceremony, youth with Lizbeth Cullity UN Resident Coordinator and Hon. Tolofuaivalelei Faamoe Leiataua. Photo credit: UNDP Samoa/Rin Yoshizaki.

On Monday, 16 November, 18 Samoa youth signed the South-South Sub-Regional Declaration on Climate Change to be delivered in various forums at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) summit of world leaders in Paris, France in December 2015 through their representatives that will be attending.  

The joint statement was put together by 40 young people from Niue, Tokelau, Cook Islands and Samoa to send a strong unequivocal message to world leaders that: “Pacific people are not drowning.  We are fighting.  Every day we see the devastating effects of sea level rising but we deny giving this global threat power over our lives.  Our will to overcome human resistance to significant actions that must be taken to reverse climate change impacts on our Mother Earth; Our Pacific Ocean will endure.”  - Joint Statement of the Pacific Youth Delegates from Niue, Tokelau, Cook Islands and Samoa to the South-South Youth Sub-Regional Conference on Climate Change, 24-27 August 2015, Apia, Samoa -.

The signatories want COP 21 be the turning point to reduce global temperature rise and are standing firmly with their Pacific leaders who will be negotiating to limit the rise in global temperature to be below 1.5 degree C of the pre-industrial levels.  They are also calling for the inclusion of youth in world and regional climate change negotiations as well the participation of youth in the monitoring of climate change agreements.  They have requested their Pacific leaders to negotiate for significant investment in marine and terrestrial conservation and in the education and employment for young people in green and blue economies that promote environment friendly and sustainable practices and technologies.

The Pacific youth are also in solidarity with all other youth that have taken concrete steps and frontline actions worldwide on climate change. Their representatives to COP21 in Paris in December 2015 will be engaging with young people from other SIDS regions such as the Caribbean Youth Environment Network currently circulating a petition on the web for 1 million signatures, the Pole to Paris initiative involving the two young scientists cycling and running from the South and North poles respectively to COP21 in Paris, 350.org and other youth action platforms.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms. Lizbeth Cullity, in giving her welcome remarks spoke of how the actions taken by subregional youth in the four countries are very much in line with achieving the aims of the worlds Sustainable Development Goals and encouraged all youth to continue to build on it after the Paris negotiations.  

Hon. Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Leiataua in his keynote remarks said that Pacific leaders are listening to the voices and messages of youth on climate change now more than ever.  He added: “I am happy to inform you all that it is now included as one of several key Declarations along with the Guiding Declaration – SAMOA Pathway that Pacific leaders will be using to guide their negotiations.”

The joint statement was presented by the Samoa youth and followed by their signing of it.  After Samoa, the joint statement will travel to Niue, Cook Islands and Samoa for signing by the youth delegates in those countries before being uploaded on the worldwide web and other e-platforms.

The launch for the Declaration was held at the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme Conference room in Matautu-Tai at 2pm on Monday, 16 November 2015.  The event was attended by the Samoa delegates and supporters, the UNDP Resident Representative, the MWCSD Minister and other remarkable guests.

END of RELEASE.

 

Contact information

Ms. Ofusina Ieremia, SGP Sub-Regional Programme Associate
E-mail: ofusina.ieremia@undp.org - Phone: (685) 23670 ext. 38/ Mobile: 752 1393

Ms. Francesca Mondello, UN Communication Specialist
E-mail: francesca.mondello@one.un.org - Phone: (685) 23670 / Mobile: 725 6584

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