Communities across #CostaRica are working to restore the mangroves. Thanks to leaders like Estela in Cuajiniquil, Guanacaste leading the way to restoration of these magnificent ecosystems, bringing livelihoods to families. #SDGs pic.twitter.com/j8RpE3WZck
— Amina J Mohammed (@AminaJMohammed) December 21, 2021
“The United Nations belongs to you, young people,” she said.
“We must connect the climate negotiations with what is happening in the world. We have to fight for the strengthening of democracy, and participate in the votes, because ultimately democracy is also climate action.”
During their exchange, the activists expressed concerns about the impacts of climate change on the most excluded populations.
Youth speaking up
They assured the UN’s second-in-command that young people are increasingly raising their voices and mobilizing more to demand that countries comply with international agreements.
“We must be more ambitious, move faster for the environment and the climate, but we also need the world to recognize, value, and give the space that young people deserve in climate negotiations,” said Sara Cognuck, one of the young environmental leaders.
Ms. Mohammed urged young people to strengthen how they organize around issues, and to identify ways to fund their causes, to ensure that their voices, as well as their actions, reach every corner of the globe.
For the UN, climate change is the defining issue of our time, and it figured prominently in her discussions with Costan Rican officials, civil society and others.
Promoting joint cooperation
On Monday, Ms. Mohammed met with President Carlos Alvarado and Vice President, Epsy Campbell to identify and promote joint cooperation on environmental protection, climate mitigation and adaption, and also the financing for development that developing countries require.
They further examined how to strengthen actions to serve the most vulnerable populations, such as people of African descent, women, indigenous peoples, migrants, asylum seekers, children and adolescents.
The Deputy Secretary-General’s visit also highlighted Costa Rica’s leadership in mobilizing development finance for middle-income countries, and achieving debt relief, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.