UN official urges youth to fight climate change effects

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, has called for sustained youth mobilization “to get out the message of sustainable development, as they have the greatest stake in the future sustainability of our planet.”

Addressing the opening session of the Conference of Foreign Ministers of the African Union (AU), ahead of the 17th AU Summit, due to open in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, Janneh said that “all hands must be on deck to ensure that the outcome of the on-going climate change negotiations, which continue in Durban later this year and the Rio  20 Summit taking place in Brazil next year take account of Africa’s interests and concerns,” the UNECA said in a statement from Malabo.

“As they have the greatest stake in the future sustainability of our planet, Africa’s youth should be mobilized to get out the message of sustainable development. Indeed, they also have to contribute by bringing their dynamism to bear through ideas, taking business risks and contributing to educating and mobilizing the rest of society behind agreed goals,” Janneh explained.

Janneh said the UN ECA was organizing the African Regional Preparatory Conference for Rio  20 in October 2011, where a common African position on the negotiations will be adopted.

African states, he said, should continue to pay very close attention to this process, whose outcomes will affect the future growth trajectory of the continent.

The AU Summit in Malabo is being dedicated to the subject of youth unemployment in Africa.

Janneh said the youth unemployment stood above 20 per cent in many countries “but even this figure underestimates the gravity of the problem.

The UN Under-Secretary proposed a new “strategy that combines public works programmes and enhanced investment in infrastructure and production … to tap into the nexus between job creation, sustainable development and social stability.

“We must now pay greater attention to green growth, which could leap-frog old and environmentally unsustainable technologies and enable African countries to take advantage of their current potential in agriculture, tourism, forestry and eco-industries,” Janneh insisted

Meanwhile, Africa’s good economic performance is relative in the sense that while growth rates fell quite sharply to 2.4 per cent in 2009, it was not as bad as other regions, as its “recovery rate of 4.7 per cent in 2010 was also swifter.

“While youth unemployment was a factor, the desire for greater freedom, demands for greater accountability and distaste with the scale of corruption also played a significant role in the demand for change," he added.
-0- PANA AO/BOS 28June2011

28 june 2011 17:30:05




xhtml CSS