UNDP Representative Akiko Fujii speaking at the closing ceremony of Youth Leadership Programme 2019

Deputy Mayor of Addu City Council, Mr. Mohamed Yasrif,

Council Members,

City Commander Sub Inspector of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Imran,

Mr. Ahmed Irash, Ministry of Youth Sports and Community Development,

Participants, ladies and gentlemen,


Assalaamu alaikum and a very good evening to you all!


Greta Thunberg, a teenage environmental activist, traveled 3,000 mile for 15 days in a zero-emissions yacht. She arrived in NY on Wednesday last week to attend UN Climate Summit starting on 23rd September. 


Greta has been diagnosed with a form of autism, which she says, allowed her to "see things from outside the box". "If I would've been like everyone else, I wouldn't have started this school strike for instance," she said.


Why am I quoting her here? I think her example teaches us many things, such as importance of courage and persistence, but more than anything else, the evidence that youths can lead.


In addition, her case demonstrates the value of embracing diversity. Reflecting diverse voices, including youths with disabilities, enriches human development and society as a whole.


According to the 2018 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, climate models project robust differences in regional climate characteristics between present-day and global warming of 1.5°C, and between 1.5°C and 2°C. These differences include increases in temperature in most land and ocean regions. Limiting global warming to 1.5°C is projected to reduce risks to marine biodiversity, fisheries, and ecosystems, and their functions and services to humans, as illustrated by recent changes to warm-water coral reef ecosystems. And we see the real effect happening daily in Addu and Maldives.


We see the clear link between SDG 13, tackling climate change, and our daily lives and for future generations.


Great work is already being done by communities, NGO’s, government and private sector to preserve and protect the environment and our heritage.


But there is more to be done. We need young people like you to be involved.


You are 47% of the population. Your actions are important. You can be the change makers in your own communities. Your actions now, will shape the future.


Before I finish, I want to thank Ministry of Youth Sports and Community Development, the Scout Association of Maldives, facilitators and other incredible partners who lead this Youth Leadership Progamme with us.


On behalf of UNDP, I congratulate the participants on the successful learning and I hope you will continue this journey as an agent for change for SDGs.


Thank you



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