Thank you Mister President. I am Kanchan Amatya representing Major Group of Children and Youth.
Distinguished delegates, our planet is unfortunately at a cross road. A number of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are expected to be underwater within the next 15 years. As I am speak here today, my friend from Maldives is witnessing her homeland sink to a watery myth and my friend in Tuvalu is forced to migrate to an unknown land because of rising sea levels. Just as their lands are washing away, so are their cultures and the future of the new generation of children and youth.
How many stories do we need to hear before we wake up to this reality and final take concrete actions to achieve sustainable development?
Moderator, Youth and children in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face special needs and special challenges as a result of its remoteness, susceptibility to climate change, and prevalence of natural disasters. Issues pertaining to youth and children like unemployment, poverty, food insecurity, and violence grow along with issues of Climate Change.
To ensure implementation of SAMOA Pathway and Post 2015 Development Goals in its truest sense, Major Group of Children and Youths, reiterate that children and youth; especially girls, youth with disabilities, youth belonging to rural indigenous groups and outer islands, youth of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, and marginalized populations– must be recognized as equal partners and stakeholders.
Developed countries, we urge you to mitigate now and forge global partnership to assist SIDS— which are without the same financial resources. SIDS member states, we also urge you to address issues affecting youths like gender inequality and unemployment by empowering women and girls and establishing decent work opportunities for all youth. We, the children and youths, also reiterate importance of education for Sustainable Development with a focus on fostering entrepreneurship, investment, and innovation.
World leaders, let’s stop pretending that the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Maldives do not exist. Lets stop pretending that the typhoon in Haiti and floods of Guyana — and all the hurricanes, earthquakes, and tidalwaves that has claimed lives of thousands did not take place. It is a real threat not just to the environment, but to our people today. And it is women, youth and children in SIDS who bear the brunt of it.
Today, young people representing Major Group of Children and Youth, are here hoping to find fair and ambitious deal for our future generation. I challenge all the leaders here to work with us in transforming S.A.M.O.A Pathway vision into action. We all have a moral, social and economic obligation to build resilience of Small Island Developing States by 2030. We have one climate, one future and one last chance.