SYAH-SEYCHELLES ATTENDS MINISTERIAL MEETING OF ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES (AOSIS) IN PREPARATION FOR LIMA COP 20
I am writing this post after a whole day of observing negotiations at the ministerial meeting of Small Islands States in preparation for climate change summit in Lima. I was placed at a table towards the back on the room with a clear label: OBSERVER. A few government officials of the Seychelles came to visit to tease that now they were being observed they could feel more pressure. I am sure they were only teasing but I answered to confirm of course I am observing all to hold you accountable to all that takes place here. Negotiations started. I was keen to observe the presentation of science on the issues and see it meet political processes. Just as I started to understand the process a question about economic development emerged and it was then that it hit me. My life and the lives of generations to come and the future of this Earth lay in the hands of Foreign Ministers who would make a decision in Lima and Paris to reach a legally binding agreement. So every time a country speaks about economic development, how words or numbers will be treated I almost felt like they needed to be reminded that these negotiations were about real people. Decision makers in international meetings aren't trying to get countries to comply or their acceptance is a sign of weakness - this is about real people losing their homes; being subject to more frequent natural disasters; and degrading coastlines. I feel it is the reason young people must always attend any meetings at national, regional and international level as they serve as a constant reminder of what these decision or lack of action means in real terms. Having a youth present keeps governments accountable, aware and a constant reminder for action.
So I realised that every young person who sees climate change as an issue for government leaves their lives and their children's lives in the hands of their Heads of State. Me, I feel proud as a young person that I help educate others about a sustainable future because every time I think that heads of states are making life decisions for me - I hurt a little.
Young people what is more important economic development or environment preservation. If you were invited to the negotiation table - what would you say?