28 April, Geneva, Switzerland - This Earth Day (22 April 2016), one of the largest and most beautiful conference rooms at the United Nations Office at Geneva, the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations room, was filled with more than 700 students from primary and secondary schools (10 to 19 years old). They came from all parts of Switzerland to hear their names announced at the 5th edition of Swiss-wide student competition entitled "Sustainable Development Goals: Imagine the Switzerland of Tomorrow." The awarding ceremony was organized by the Eduki Foundation.
One of the winners this year was the students from Kantonsschule am Burggraben in St. Gallen, Switzerland. They took part in the pilot Youth Climate Dialogue in November 2015 and prepared a peer-to-peer real-time online discussion on climate change with girls of the Lilongwe Secondary School in Malawi.
The competition, organized by the Eduki Foundation in partnership with the Department of Education, Culture and Sports of Geneva, the Swiss Confederation and the Fondation pour Genève, aimed at inspiring students to " imagine the Switzerland of tomorrow" and develop real and implementable projects that can bring social, economic and environmental benefits in Switzerland and abroad. The initiative, supported by the Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva, encouraged a connection among students, international organizations and other stakeholders of international cooperation and development.
This year, the main theme of the competition was the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). More than 1,500 students participated in with their concrete projects, media campaigns or artistic work that relate specifically to the four priority SDGs for Switzerland, namely the goals focusing on Water, Health, Equality, and Peace.
The students from grades 2aL and 3iW from the high-school in St. Gallen, Switzerland were awarded in the category of 'concrete projects'. As they were not able to attend the ceremony, they prepared a very heartful video thanking their Malawi peers, Mr. Daniel Maselli from the Swiss Development Cooperation as well as UNITAR's Green development and Climate Change team who supported this project. Thank you very much for your video!
More information on Youth Climate Dialogues
In the run-up to the Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21), December 2015, the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and UN CC:Learn provided a forum for youth both in Switzerland and UN CC:Learn partner countries to share their views on climate change. The dialogues were held between:
- St. Gallen, Switzerland – Lilongwe, Malawi, 9 November 2015
- La Tour de Peilz, Switzerland – Niamey, Niger, 18 November 2015
- Lugano, Switzerland – Kampala, Uganda, 9 December 2015
You can see more updates on #YouthClimateDialogues and find more articles on the Youth Climate Dialogues on the UN CC:Learn website: "Youth Climate Dialogues between Switzerland and Malawi" amd "Climate Change: Theoretical Concept or Reality?"
For more information on the competition, please visit the Eduki Foundation website.
About the YCD Programme
The Youth Climate Dialogues is an initiative of the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and The One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) that aims to provide a forum for youth both in Switzerland and UN CC:Learn partner countries to share their views about climate change. Young people between the ages of 14 and 18 are not only highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change but they are also tomorrow’s business leaders, decision makers and consumers.About UN CC:Learn
UN CC:Learn is a partnership of more than 30 multilateral organizations supporting countries to design and implement systematic, recurrent and results-oriented climate change learning. At the global level, the partnership supports knowledge-sharing, promotes the development of common climate change learning materials, and coordinates learning interventions through a collaboration of UN agencies and other partners. At the national level, UN CC:Learn supports countries in developing and implementing national climate change learning strategies. Through its engagement at the national and global levels, UN CC:Learn contributes to the implementation of Article 6 of the UNFCCC on training, education and public awareness-raising, and the 2012-2020 Doha Work Programme. Funding for UN CC:Learn is provided by the Swiss Government and UN partners. The Secretariat for UN CC:Learn is hosted by the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
Picture 1: Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, Palais des Nations (22th April, 2016)
Picture 2: Four priority SDGs for Switzerland
Picture 3: Lilongwe Girls School, Lilongwe, Malawi
Picture 4: Students from Kantonsschule am Burggraben during the Youth Climate Dialogues with students from Malawi