More often than not, youths are perceived to be incapable, illiterate and immature to be able to make proper decisions. However, one particular youth organization network called YOUNGO is the group that you can entrust to make informed decisions in the UNFCCC intergovernmental process. This is the bunch of youths who holds true to being the guardian of our planet earth and will stand strong in protecting it for the future generation. Each and every YOUNGO member do not simply represent a single nation but they represent the global youth community fighting against climate change as a unity.
“I represent all future generations yet to be born.”
“I represent the billions of children to be born before 2050.”
“I represent over 50% of the world’s population alive today.”
So please do not neglect us.
Continue reading to learn more about YOUNGO, the official youth constituency at UNFCCC.
Youth (Children and young people) are believed to be the key players in reaching innovative, inspiring and ambitious climate change solution. In fact, youth have been actively involved in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since COP 5 in Bonn.
To date, the idea of youth constituency status was first discussed at COP10 in Buenos Aires. Prior to Conferences of Parties (COP 15), the secretariat granted a provisional observer constituency status to admit youth non-governmental organisations (YOUNGO). As per definition by the UNFCCC secretariat, constituency has a functional role in the climate change negotiation process as a management tool. This status allow youth not only to strengthen their presence during negotiations process but also take part in it as a stakeholder. To make thing clear, YOUNGO is not an organisation but rather an official youth constituency status in UNFCCC. The objective of YOUNGO is youth empowerment
As a constituency, YOUNGO is given the opportunity to address the plenary and high level segment of a COP/CMP. YOUNGO have additional privileges to make official statements and provide technical and policy inputs to negotiation groups during the plenaries. They also invited to attend workshops taking place in between sessions and meet with officials of the Convention such as Chairs of the subsidiary bodies and the COP Presidency.
YOUNGO play an important role in becoming the conduit for the exchange of official information between youth and the secretariat. Focal points are representatives in charge of communicating with the secretariat of the UNFCCC on behalf of youth during negotiation. Besides, YOUNGO assisted the secretariat in ensuring an effective youth participation to an intergovernmental meeting. Besides, it also promote youth participation in specific projects at the local and national levels such as education, mitigation, adaptation and technology transfer. It also coordinated young people’s interaction at sessions including convening constituency meetings, organising meetings with officials, providing names for the speakers list and representation at official function
Starting in COP 11/CMP 1, youth have organised meetings called “Conferences of Youth (COY)” prior to the sessions of the COP/CMP. The annual COY provides a solidarity platform to bring young people from around the world to learn about UNFCCC, building networks and equip themselves in building capacity in participating in the UNFCCC negotiation process. COY is the main summit of the YOUNGO constituency. COY 11 will be held at 26th November 2015
Aside from COY, the youth continue to engage in the negotiation process through various activities. YOUNGO co-organises Young and Future Generation’s Day during the COP/CMP which will feature a series of youth-led events, exhibits, interviews, media stunts and etc. These events provide opportunities for the youth to showcase their project implemented, present a report they have written and even performing arts.
Last but not least, youth participation has brought moral and equity based values as well as transparency to the negotiations.