The youth version of the 2007-2008 Human Development Report would be launched tomorrow, International Youth Day, at the World Youth Congress in Quebec City, Cecilia Ugaz, Deputy Director of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report Office, said today.
Introducing the report at a Headquarters press conference, she said it was the second such summary of a UNDP report, the first having described the global water crisis. Entitled “Two degrees of separation: between hope and despair”, the booklet-form summary was created for and by youth, and signed by youngsters with the opening appeal: “We hope the call to action against climate change will be heard in every continent, every country, city and town and in every family. We can change our today, little by little, person by person and with that obtain a more sustainable tomorrow for coming generations.”
The prologue explains the booklet’s intention to be “striking in order to be heard above the familiar drones of climate change dialogue”. It seeks to give the reader a “tangible threshold and a clear choice between two distinct options”, between two outcomes -- hope and despair -- amid the continuing scientific debates.
Ms. Ugaz explained that young people aged between 16 and 25 years had participated in preparing the report, which contains their own messages, artwork and testimonials. UNDP had editorial responsibility and tried as much as possible to reflect the main messages of the global report, but the booklet was basically designed by the youngsters, who worked with UNDP throughout the process.
She said the structure was relatively simple -- an explanation of the climate change problem, followed by mitigation and adaptation policies, and a call to action by young people themselves. The emphasis was on individual solutions to global problems, and it was extremely appealing to see how youth had translated some of the report’s main messages into their own call for action, within their networks of friends, families and schools.
Responding to questions, she said the booklet had been produced in order to reach a wider audience, stressing that it was not a training tool since UNDP’s mandate was to produce a global report. The aim of the youth publication was wider dissemination of the message, and it had been sent to schools and many developing countries, as an introduction to the global report, with the aim of raising awareness among youth. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was “very keen” to work with UNDP in connection with producing youth versions of the Programme’s reports.
In reply to another question, she said the youth report covered the issue of population growth but offered no prescriptions. Population had not been an issue in the global report, although it had been factored into discussions in the early preparatory stages. However, population issues should be the subject of a global report in the future.
Asked about the head of the Human Development Report Office, she said Kevin Watkins had ceased his functions as Director in December 2007 and Jenny Klugman would take his place as of next Monday, 18 August.
She said the theme of the Human Development Report 2009 would be migration, adding that the selection of themes was a consultative process. Democracy had been a popular theme and the youth had become very engaged with the idea of renewable energy sources. Their report discussed policy at the broad level, as well as specific policies on energy conservation and transportation, in the context of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which began with the individual.
Read the Youth booklet on our website.
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