“You are endangering the lives and future of our entire generation,” Sudanese activist Mayada Adil told the United Nations on Monday, urging leaders to listen to the “tribe of young people” around the world.
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“I invite you to look around you in this space and tell me what you see. “I can say what I see: a room full of heads of state, decision-makers, people with power,” she said at the opening of a development summit.
“But I don’t see my tribe, the tribe of young people who are left on the side of the road every year,” she continued.
“What have you done to involve young people in the decision-making process? “Half of the world’s population is under 30, but we are excluded, pushed aside,” she denounced, demanding that these young people be “heard.”
“If you fail to meet your commitments to limit warming to below +1.5°C, reverse the damage of climate change and focus on zero-carbon choices, you are endangering the lives and future of our generation. “Completely in danger, and those who will come after,” she also explained.
“We are the young people around the world who call on you, world leaders, to fulfill your commitments to achieve peace and the Sustainable Development Goals,” emphasized the young woman, a medical student.
“And we stand ready to work with you as full partners to make this a reality.”
Dozens of heads of state and government gathered at the United Nations on Monday for this summit on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), kicking off the high-level week of the United Nations General Assembly.
Eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, access to drinking water, gender equality, health for all… The “Agenda 2030”, adopted by UN member states in 2015, lists 17 SDGs that aim to create a better and more sustainable future for all to be achieved at the end of this decade.
But halfway there, only 15% of them are on track and “more than half the world” is lagging behind, the UN says.