Rio+20: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)
Youth - Having a Blast!
Conference of Youth for Rio+20
The official young people's event for Rio+20, the "Youth Blast" ended on a high note on the 12th of June and what a blast it was!
FANRPAN was represented by, Programme Manager, Ms Sithembile Mwamakamba who was there to advocate for the involvement of youth representatives in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of sustainable development programmes and plans.
The Youth Blast was organised by the UNCSD Major Group for Children and Youth as a preparatory event for all children and youth who attended the Rio+20 Conference. The objectives of the Youth Blast were to: empower children and youth present at Rio+20; provide information and training for leaders; and provide a space for young people to share best practices for implementing solutions and participating in decision-making at the international level. It also served as a platform for the youth to strategize prior to Rio+20.
Over 1000 young people from ages 12 to 30 from 112 countries converged at Sul America, Rio de Janeiro from the 10th - 12th of June to shared their ideas and position on Sustainable Development for "The Future They Want".
The plenary sessions were charged with energy and featured inspiring speeches from young people representing different groups from around the world. The most inspiring talk was delivered by 12- year old Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, an environmental activist from America who represented the indigenous people group. Martinez takes his word into action, and has risen up repeatedly to inspire fellow young people to take a stand against poor practices in their community that may have an impact on the kind of world they will inherit.
Delegates from Africa also had a chance to meet and exchange their plans and experiences in order to have a unified advocacy campaign in the coming weeks. The small group of 12 young people from, Cameroon, Kenya, Mali, , Mauritius, Morocco, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe called on African governments to ensure the use of sustainable methods to improve the lives of young people and to not jeopardise opportunities for future generations.
Also making an appearance at the Youth Blast was Captain Planet, the world's first eco-superhero created after the Rio Earth summit of 1992. The Captain Planet Foundation has been working tirelessly to give the next generation of environmental stewards an active understanding and love for the natural world in which they live.
The Youth Blast created a platform for young people to share experiences and solutions related to sustainable development issues. The importance of creating new avenues of participation by the youth in decision-making at the international level, especially taking into account a growing awareness about the importance of creating channels for online interaction, was highlighted. Outcomes from the Youth Blast will feed into a post-Rio+20 agenda that incorporates the implementation of the outcomes of Rio+20.