A 19-year-old woman from Samoa, an island in the Pacific Ocean, was one of the speakers during the closing ceremony of COY13. We were really struck by her spontaneity and composure. As a delegate of the so-called Pacific Climate Warriors, Brianna inspired us with the following metaphor:
“The common effort that we have to make has to be like riding a canoe. Young people make a canoe lighter thanks to their innovative ideas. They sit at the prow and lead the canoe towards the future, while old generations sit at the back and thanks to their experience move the steering wheel.”
The conference was also attended by youth from YOUNGO’s working group: a member of the “Women and Gender Constituency”, a guy from Tunisia that talked us about the link between health issues and climate change, a girl from the Ocena Working Group and many others.
The conference was joined also by Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who will lead the upcoming COP23 negotiations. He told us that this COP will see Fiji Islands play a key role: they will be the first little insular state to lead the nengotiations, representing the so-called Global South, those states that are suffering more the consequences of climate change.
There were also present UNFCCC’s Executive Secretary Mrs. Patricia Espinosa, Bonn’s Mayor Ashok Sridharam and other important personalities.
During COY13 the working groups also wrote down a document that will be presented to decisors at COP23 negotiations. It was drafted by young people from more than 20 different countries that worked in teams on these topics: agricolture, gender equality, climate justice and correlation between health and climate change. Everyone was welcome to join the working groups and contribute to the final document, that will be available soon on the COY website in different languages.
This closing ceremony has been the deign conclusion of these amazing 3 days experience and reflected its spirit, its energy and the trust of its participants in a brighter future.