In a world where more disasters are caused by climate change and more people are affected, too many communities remain fragile and unprepared. Disasters Risk Reduction (DRR) helping countries be more resilient and more prepared for unavoidable disasters. According to  the Sendai Framework, the global agreement for DRR, young people are recognized as agents of change. Therefore last week, I was in Geneva for the Global Platform for Disasters Risk Reduction #GP2019Geneva to advocate the role of young people as agents of change, and their contribution to DRR solutions.

Opening Ceremony, Room 1 – Photo: © UNDRR/Antoine Tardy.

I’m grateful that the call from young people and young people’s contribution in DRR is also recognized by USG Mami Mizutori of United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. The world is in desperate need for leadership in DRR and climate action, and at #GP2019Geneva I urged everyone not to leave the event without ambition: “Young people are calling world leaders to take action, let us not let their call become a missed call.”

I had the chance to meet with strong supporters of young people such as Secretary-General Elhadj As Sy of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. We discussed the challenges youth volunteers face on the ground. Afterwards, I met with H.E Ambassador Rui Macieira of the Permanent Representative of Portugal to the United Nations Office and discussed the important role of Portugal in advancing the youth rights discourse in the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

I also met with H.E. Ambassador Joaquín Alexander Maza Martelli of El Salvador, as El Salvador is leading on the Human Rights Council’s youth agenda. We had the chance to brainstorm different strategies to advance #ForYouthRights discourse at the Human Rights Council. On my final day, I met with the Young UN colleagues from UN offices in Geneva. I’m happy to know that youth-led innovations are encouraged and supported by United Nations Office at Geneva and Director-General Michael Møller.

Before I returned, I also stopped by the European Union Commission in Brussels to attend the Foreign Affairs Council on Youth and Development, where I had the opportunity to brief EU Development Ministers Council of the European Union on the #Youth2030 strategy and youth engagement at the HLPF, SDG Summit and the #ClimateAction Summit. Although my trip has ended and I’m back in New York again, and I’m ready to implement all the great ideas from last week to the work of my office as part of the #Youth2030 strategy! 🌟