SINT MAARTEN: Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs pledges continued support for young people to shape a sustainable future

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At the EarthX 2022 conference held on April 20 in Dallas, Texas, Silveria Jacobs, Premier of Sint Maarten, delivered the keynote address for the Global Youth Summit.

His address focused on the importance of next generation leadership and island leaders aligning their efforts to achieve transformative global change. This speech was in line with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which established an international environmental treaty to combat "dangerous human interference with the climate system", in part by stabilizing concentrations greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This treaty was signed in June 1992 by 154 states at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit. The Prime Minister addressed the assembly made up of, among others, YOUNGO, the UNFCCC's global network of children and young activists (up to 35 years old), as well as youth non-governmental organizations (NGOs), that help shape intergovernmental policies on climate change. In front of all these young people gathered, Silveria Jacobs pledged her continued support to youth agencies, stressing the need to empower them and facilitate their participation at the national level: "As an educator by profession, I have long been captivated by the willingness of young people to peel back the layers to examine, critique and challenge norms. It is their strength! Often untrammeled by tradition and full of optimism, this willingness to dissect combined with new ideas means young people are often well equipped to tackle the ever-changing, multi-dimensional issues that form our common agenda. I am encouraged by the excellent work done by the organization YOUNGO and I commend the UNFCCC for recognizing the important role young people play in climate-related discussions. » In 2009, the UNFCCC Secretariat extended constituency status to NGOs such as YOUNGO to enable children and young people to make official statements, provide technical and political input to negotiations, engage with decision makers at United Nations climate conferences and to promote youth participation in climate change projects at local and national levels. The Prime Minister did not hide her joy in exchanging with young people during the summit and saw it as an opportunity for youth representatives from Sint Maarten to participate in EarthX 2023 as well as other international youth forums. where the country will then have a voice. _VX

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