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Le journal pour les jeunes, par les  jeunes

The 13th UNESCO’s Youth Forum: the challenge of climate change

The voice of youth, which can sometimes be overlooked or underestimated in a world where experiences and seniority are worshiped, was in the spotlight in Paris last week. Indeed, on the last 13th and 14th of November was organized in Paris the 13th UNESCO Youth Forum. This meeting, which takes place every two years since 1999, has gathered for a few days more than a hundred young leaders across the world in order to discuss burning matters and to find relevant solutions about worldwide problems and crises.

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© UNESCO Young leaders from the entire world taking part in a discussion on climate change’s consequences and the way they can be addressed.
© UNESCO Young leaders from the entire world taking part in a discussion on climate change’s consequences and the way they can be addressed.

According to a UNESCO survey, 83% of the youth think that humanity failed at protecting the planet. 70% of them are highly preoccupied by the consequences of this carelessness. This is the reason why the theme of this year’s Youth Forum is the social impacts of climate change on the population. Another issue at stake is the anxiety global warming provokes in young people, and in the way they see the future. 

During this forum, young leaders engaged in discussions and debates aimed at identifying solutions and ideas to fight against the precariousness and fear regarding the dangers of global warming.These young leaders are working hand in hand with representatives of UN member countries to give young people across the world the voice they deserve. This year’s forum is aligned with the ninth edition that took place in 2015 and which was already dedicated to the ways the planet can be protected and how it can be made more sustainable. 

This Youth Forum is taking place through the UNESCO Youth Program, as UNESCO is one of the United Nations’ organizations dedicated to education, science and culture. This forum was originally created because young people thought they didn’t have enough space to express themselves and to be heard (70% according to a survey conducted by UNESCO). Other issues such as how to reshape youth involvement or how to develop spaces dedicated to the youth were tackled during the previous forums in Paris. 

The next step relies on the UN member states’ representatives. Indeed, they need to report the content of these discussions to their hierarchy which will be responsible for implementing the forum’s main conclusions in its national law in order to promote concrete improvements. 

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