The United Nations award-winning Nigerian, Noel Alumona, has urged world leaders to empower youths to address the issue of climate change ravaging the world.
Alumona, who is the founder of Boys Champions (BC), made the call while addressing United Nations Leaders and Youths on the topic “Climate Change and Youths Inclusion” to mark 2023 International Youth Day (IYD).
The address posted on UN Web TV and Website, was obtained on Tuesday in Enugu.
The IYD is an annual event celebrated every Aug. 12, to raise awareness and drive actions on issues affecting youths globally, with 2023 theme being “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World”.
According to Alumona, the world faces interconnected crises emanating from climate changes, adding that the challenges could be turned into an opportunity if leaders empowered young people with green skills and gave them the opportunities to address the challenges.
He said young people understood the problems better because their future was at stake as they were poised, with the sustainability, eco-skills and technology to solve these problems.
“As we approach the halfway point to 2030, the urgency to uphold the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has never been greater and recommitting to the SDGs is our best roadmap out of them.
“Failing to act decisively will lead to irreparable damage to our planet and in Nigeria where I come from.
“We are constantly seeing the devastating effects of climate change, from increasing floods and droughts to coastal erosion.
“These changes are having a profound impact on the lives of people, especially women and children, and young persons with disabilities. This is almost the same globally but there is hope,”Alumona said.
He explained that voices and actions of the youths were crucial in pushing for global efforts to mitigate against and adapt to the challenges posed by climate change.
“As a youth myself, I represent the voices of all the hundreds of young people in this room, and the 1.2 billion young people globally.
“And I would like to say that climate change is a crucial battle for us as young people because its impacts will shape our future.
“As we hone these green skills, we require all the support from our leaders.We cannot do this on our own because we have the skills but we do not have the systems.
“We do not also have the finances. And I am glad that our leaders are listening to us here today.
“And I would like to tell them to prioritise young people, their skills and potential,” he advised.
Alumona noted that to navigate these complex global challenges, it was essential to recognise the unique perspectives, ideas, and energy that young people brought to the table.
According to him, youths are tired of sitting down to talk but demand actions by actively engaging in shaping the policies and initiatives that affect their future.
“You can tap into our creativity, innovation, and passion, ultimately fostering inclusive societies and sustainable world.
“Our programs at Boys Champions are focused on young people and as a result, we always employ several innovative methods to make their learning experiential.
“To achieve this, leaders can organise eco-friendly innovation competitions or challenges that encourage youths to come up with creative solutions to environmental problems.
“Changing the world alone is difficult and draining, but together we can make it happen.
Over 1,000 young people from 103 countries and leaders of the United Nations attended the event.
Through the Boys Champions (BC), Alumona continues to champion the cause to end Gender-Based Violence and other abuses against women in Nigeria.
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