It all started when someone mentioned the word ‘intervention’ during our internal meeting with Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) prior to coming to Bangkok. “I want to do it” I thought to myself. All I have to do is help out with the draft text, that’s easy. That wasn’t quite the case, however.
It was a night before the closing plenary of SB48-2 when we all met up in the theatre room to draft the intervention for the children and youth constituency at the UNFCCC, YOUNGO. Everyone had their heads focused on their respective laptops and so did I. Based on what I had learnt from negotiations and working group meetings, I wrote about technology development and transfer and talked about how Parties should improve, in terms of the technology framework as well as the Technology Mechanism.
Halfway through drafting the text, the topic of who should deliver the intervention was brought up, and the only ones who had not given an intervention or delivered a speech from MYD was Nacha, Syahirah, Daniel and myself. We were told to settle this amongst ourselves and sort things out before the intervention the next day.
On the day of the closing plenary itself, I was busy editing the draft text as we were only given two minutes for the intervention, and the text was way more than a page in length. The finalised text for YOUNGO’s intervention covered topics regarding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report, article 6 of the Paris Agreement, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) registries and human rights.
Towards the end of the day, we decided that we will have someone draw lots to decide who should deliver the intervention. Daniel said that he wasn’t going to do it and gave the three of us the chance, so we wrote our names on pieces of scrap papers and asked someone to pick one. Mike did the honour and unfolded a piece of paper. It was my name, I get to deliver the intervention. My heart skipped a beat.
Minutes after, I was asking myself the same questions over and over again “Do I really want to do this? What if I stutter and screw up? Am I sure that I will be able to do this?” I had less than an hour to prepare for the intervention. Having rehearsed outside of the hall, I walked in, towards the seat allocated for YOUNGO. I convinced myself that I will do alright. And with all the support from MYD members, I was reassured, and I delivered the intervention.
So, was it as easy as I thought it would be? Yes, and no. The toughest part was preparing the text and getting myself ready for the intervention. With so many people contributing to the text, constant edits were being made, even within ten minutes before the intervention was to be delivered. Prior to delivering the intervention, I had to convince myself multiple times, that I would do alright. It was easy delivering the intervention, because it felt like giving a speech with notes provided. YOUNGO’s intervention marked the end of all the interventions for the closing ceremony, so that also marked the end of our journey in Bangkok. Was I happy? Definitely.
Written by Kitty Chen
Peer reviewed by Syahirah Aron