KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Two Malaysian youths will represent Malaysia at the Youth4Climate: Driving Action (Y4C) Summit in Milan from Sept 28 to 30.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) Malaysia and Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD), in a joint statement, said the youths were Sahana Kaur, 17, and Mogesh Sababathy, 23, who were co-organising the Pre-Youth4Climate Workshop with Unicef Malaysia, jointly supported by MYD, the British High Commission, and the Italian Embassy.
The outputs from the Pre-Youth4Climate Workshop, which will be held on Sept 25, would be incorporated in a climate youth report reflecting youth voices from Malaysia that would be conveyed at the summit.
"At the Pre-Youth4Climate Workshop, Sahana and Mogesh, in partnership with Unicef Malaysia, hope to promote youth engagement in climate action and highlight opportunities in local and global platforms for youth in Malaysia to take action.
"The inputs and feedback gained aim to build an evidence base of climate-related impacts on young people to position the rights of the youth at the centre of climate policy discussions and negotiations in Malaysia and international circles," the statement said.
The statement also said that Unicef Malaysia is providing support to Sahana and Mogesh in the lead-up to the Y4C Summit, as the international aid agency is committed to protecting children’s rights in climate change and facilitating youth engagement and advocacy.
The summit, hosted by the Italian government, was one of the preparatory steps to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which will take place in November in Glasgow, Scotland.
Meanwhile, Unicef Representative to Malaysia and Special Representative to Brunei Darussalam Dr Rashed Sarwar said Unicef would continue to join forces with the youth and key stakeholders in advancing children’s rights to a safe and sustainable future.
"Sahana and Mogesh represent a new generation of young people who recognise the climate crisis as a child rights crisis.
"This is because children and young people are the most vulnerable to climate change and will bear the brunt of climate-related impacts despite contributing the least to climate change”, he said.
The British High Commission and Italian Embassy in a joint statement congratulated Sahana and Mogesh’s selection to the Y4C Summit and they expressed their support to the two youth for their contributions in advancing youth advocacy in the climate sphere.
The statement also said that the Unicef’s Children’s Climate Risk Index recently revealed that 1 billion children were at ‘extremely high risk’ of the impacts of climate change with Malaysia ranking 61st place on least performing countries where children were most at risk.
According to the index, Malaysia is among the top 100 countries at risk of increasing child vulnerability as the unpredictability of floods, heatwaves, and climate-related illnesses such as malaria and dengue grew.
This was also confirmed by the National Youth Climate Change Survey Malaysia conducted by Unicef and UNDP with support from EcoKnights in 2020, in which nine in 10 Malaysian youths said to have experienced climate and environment-related effects in the last three years. - Bernama