Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed’s video message to the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 Event: “Signals of Hope: Speak up! For Climate”, held today:
Hello to everyone taking part in the Frankfurt Book Fair — and especially to those who are speaking up for climate. My name is Amina Mohammed and I am Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
We at the United Nations are inspired to see — and hear — so many young people standing up and speaking up for the planet. And particularly those who are doing so in verse. The world faces a climate emergency and every one of us needs to play our part if we are to overcome this crisis and build a greener, fairer world.
We need to take concrete actions everywhere if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals — like ending poverty, eliminating hunger, reducing inequalities and boosting health and education — by 2030. We need to make sure that recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic also tackles climate change and the other global fragilities that have been so starkly exposed.
To do that, we need to inspire and empower people everywhere. The arts are an ideal vehicle — a universal language that unites peoples and communities.
It’s exciting to see young people around the world taking the lead in recent years; you will be the ones in charge in 2030 and beyond. The United Nations recognizes the power and passion of young people to drive the changes we need.
We recently established a new Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change to hear directly from young climate activists around the world about how to ramp up climate action. It’s truly inspiring to hear these young leaders demanding change but also putting forward practical solutions — whether in harnessing the traditional knowledge of indigenous communities, expanding climate education into more languages, or building resilience in climate-vulnerable communities.
And across the United Nations system, we are working hard to bring more young people into global decision-making on climate action. We simply cannot overcome this crisis without the ideas and energy of young people everywhere.
But this is not only a fight for young people — this is everyone’s fight, for the world we all share, and the ecosystems we all depend on to survive and thrive.
Events like this really do send out signals of hope.
So, thank you for your engagement, for your commitment to fighting climate change, and for working to build a better world. Let’s continue to speak up for climate so we can achieve our goals, together!