Youth4Pacific Voice at COP26
September 27, 2021
The Youth4Pacific: Pre-COP Gathering drew to a close this afternoon. The Gathering was the largest mobilisation of young Pacific people from around the world coming together to collaborate and unify youth advocacy and engagement in climate policy in the lead up to the UNFCCC Climate Negotiations (COP26) in Glasgow this November. Throughout the Gathering, Pacific youth engaged in constructive and outcome-oriented discussions on issues that need urgent action. In this regard, the Gathering provided young people with capacity building and practical engagement experience on COP26 Agenda items, further enabling their understanding of the UNFCCC negotiation processes. At the conclusion of the two-day Gathering, participants presented the Youth4Pacific Declaration on Climate Change to the British High Commissioner to Fiji and Head of the Pacific Island Network H.E. George Edgar as the incoming COP26 Presidency. When handing over the Declaration, Okalani Mariner, a Samoan Youth and Climate activist said, “For the past two days, more than 600 participants from 33 different countries around the world joined our Youth4Pacific gathering to talk about the future of our planet and the outcome we hope to see from the COP26 Conference in Glasgow.” Speaking at the closing ceremony, H.E George Edgar emphasised the importance of a strong Pacific voice in Glasgow offering assurance that the Youth4Pacific Declaration on Climate Change will be passed onto the COP26 Presidency. “I will ensure it is passed to the COP26 Presidency, and fed into the youth meeting that will take place in Glasgow in the days immediately before COP26”, he said. On behalf of the young Pacific people that attended the two-day gathering, Mariner emphasized the urgency of the incoming COP 26 Presidency to take forward the collective concerns of our region. “Now, we humbly ask you to ensure that the collective Pacific voice is acted upon during these COP negotiations and OUR part will now be to TAPUA’I [cheer] you on in the completion of this feat. We will stay hopeful to see positive, ambitious and realistic targets from COP26,” she said.
Supported by the UK Government, the Gathering built the momentum of Youth efforts towards accelerating climate action in the region. The Youth4Pacific: Pre-COP Gathering was organized with Active Citizens Pacific, Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA), 350.org Pacific and the Alliance for Future Generations [Fiji].
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