(NATCOM) – Basseterre, 05 November 2015: Youth Ambassador Kerissa Roberts has returned from the Ninth Annual UNESCO Youth Conference held in Paris, France convinced of her role in the global effort towards Sustainable Development and passionate about ensuring that other youth in the region understand their roles as well.
Having had the opportunity to participate in this International Forum of youth from October 26th-28th, Ms Roberts said that the theme “Global Citizens for a Sustainable Planet” was thought provoking in terms of challenging youths to become part of the ‘responsible change’ process.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the exercises where we had to jot down our predicted and preferred futures and generate images of 2040 about climate change and sustainable development. I was a part of the sub-theme “Local Practices, Biodiversity, Disasters,” Kerissa stated.
Commenting further on the activity she explained that the youth were creative in their expression of the solutions to some of the issues plaguing countries. “As a group of seven we made a banner entitled Take Action and instead of creating a structure (with materials given), we were the structure. Our main idea was that in order to move towards a sustainable planet it would not be an easy task and all hands need to be on deck.”
Ms. Roberts divulged that the group depicted the world as they stood in a circle, each holding hands with the person two spaces away from them so that it became a somewhat acrobatic exercise to untangle the circle without losing hands.
“… untangling our hands represented the way in which we need to get out of the serious implication of climate change to move towards a sustainable world,” Kerissa explained.
Apart from the mental exercise of the forum, Kerissa said the experience of visiting France and forging new friendships with so many young persons was also special.
Among recommendations coming from Kerissa post-conference was the fact that there need to be smaller sub-regional forums before attending the Global conference. “The purpose” Kerissa added was to “allow for discussion to be ‘closer to home’ where participants get to focus on what is directly affecting their region (so that) regionally recommended actions could be specific and measurable as time passes.”
Additionally, Kerissa thanked UNESCO for supporting her participation in the event. “I wish to thank the National Commission for UNESCO and the Department of Youth for ensuring that I was able to represent St. Kitts and Nevis in this prestigious setting. I felt that the forum was one that was meaningful and it showed that our young people in the world are destined for greatness and it can only get better.”
The UNESCO Youth Forum was created in 1999 to provide young people with the opportunity to present their concerns and ideas to Member States and help shape the direction of UNESCO.