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Monday, December 6, 2010

In Cancún, Youth Score Major Policy Victory on Climate Education and Engagement (Article 6 of the Convention), December 6, 2010

In Cancún, Youth Score Major Policy Victory on Climate Education and Engagement (Article 6 of the Convention), December 6, 2010

Decision Ready to Be Adopted by Full Climate Convention - Example of Cooperation and Ambition by Negotiators, Working with Civil Society

Cancún, Mexico - The first success at Cancun has been reached with the help of over 100 global youth. At the end of week one at COP16 a consensus decision was reached recognizing gender, youth and non-formal education in climate change awareness.

The policy, Article 6 of the Convention, had been largely crafted by young people from around the globe, who gathered to observe and participate in official discussions.

The youth delegation was praised by national delegates and the Chairman, SBI Robert Owen-Jones, for their commitment and efficacy.

For the young leaders, it was the realization of over five months work on crafting policy that would appeal to all nations and achieve tangible gains for women, young people and non-formal education institutions.

The policy ensures that education for sustainable development is supported, especially that conducted by youth nongovernmental organizations. Article 6 also guarantees equal access to boys and girls in these new programs.

The final policy ensures equity, sustainability and opportunity to young people and women from all backgrounds and cultures. The achievement constituted a victory for transparency and representation on the international stage, which strengthens Civil Society’s involvement in high-level decisions on climate change.

As Danny Hutley, co-facilitator of the Article 6 Working Group, said “no decisions about us, without us.”

Following the adoption of Article 6, the international community has been united in its praise for the young.

When all these young people are expecting an outcome we have to stop fighting over details.  We must reach a decision now,” said a delegate for the Dominican Republic.

This success highlights that “young people are potent agents for change.”
Robert Owen-Jones said that “if you manage to get a COP decision in ninety minutes, you deserve a golden star.”
When it was successful, the youth decided to give out golden stars to the delegates, which were waved with enthusiasm inside the negotiations. It was a celebration of ambition and the spirit of consensus moving the action on climate change forward.
The group consisted of young people from international organizations like the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, the British Council and the Federation of Medical Students. The Euoropean Youth Forum, UK Youth Climate Coalition and Spire (Norway), were also active. 

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