Am 11.06.10 hatten wir bei der Baltic Model United Nations (BALMUN) die Gelegenheit den teilnehmenden Schüler/innen im Rahmen der Opening Ceremony durch eine Welcoming Address das Jugenddelegiertenprogramm kurz vorzustellen, einige Aspekte zum Thema Klima im internationalen Bereich zu erläutern und ein paar Ratschläge für den Verlauf der BALMUN zu geben.
Hier ist der Wortlaut unserer Welcoming Address:
honourable organizers of BALMUN 2010,
thank you for granting us the floor for this welcoming address.
Since 1981 in course of the “World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and beyond” all nations are requested to include youth representatives into their national delegation for the General Assembly.
In Germany it was a long way to install a Youth Delegate Programm. But after an initative of young students in 2005 the first two German youth delegates were sent to New York to represent the youth living in Germany and to bring their opinions and demands into the negotiations.
Now, five years later it’s our task to rise our voices for the youth living in Germany. To ensure that we are qualified for our new role we have been selected after a demanding selection process by a committee of supporters and promoters of German youth participation at the United Nations. The main supporters of our programm are the DNK – German National Committee for International Youth Work and the United Nations Association of Germany.
Our preferential task during the UN General Assembly is to advice and support the delegates of our countries about all topics concerning youth issues as well as to cooperate with youth delegates from other countries to exchange our experiences, opinions and postulates. Acting as one group as youth delegates is very important in order to be able to influence current and future youth topics.
We also have the chance to give a speech to inform the UN delegations about the situation and opinions of the youth living in Germany.
Before participating in the General Assembly we train our skills and knowledge and do a half year tour through Germany, in order to meet you, the youth living in Germany, for example in schools, universities, youth associations and during events like the BALMUN today.
During these gatherings with young people we collect their wishes, hopes and demands. While debating about international topics of the UN programs, like climate change, participation or HIV/AIDS, we also keep national challenges in mind.
So in the last few weeks we had the chance to talk also about Climate and the role of the UN. For example last month we were in Göttingen at the national congress of the young greens for a workshop about Copenhagen and its consequences. The young people taking part in the workshop were very disappointed about the outcome of the climate conference. They call for more transparency during the conference in Mexico and upon the goverments to represent less national interests and rather a more global perspective. Their idea for a long term solution has been an international climate panel which is constantly working on climate issues.
But in their opinion the first and important thing for getting a real global solution is that all states begin to act now.
With more and more seeable damages because of natural disasters, millions of displaced people due to unrepairable damage to the environment and the Kyoto Protocoll running out 2012 climate, are already some of the top priorities on the international agenda.
Will the international community be able to create an ambitious follow-up protocoll or commitment, or will the Kyoto Protocoll will end without any kind of future outlook? Is the goal to limit global warming to two degrees still realistic or have we already failed reaching this important target?
We all witnessed the disappointing outcome of Copenhagen 2009. The decision makers of this world came together in order to get a real deal, but failed miserably. Although being named different, we´ve once again seen not the united but the divided Nations.
Copenhagen has damaged the trust and hope towards a strong global approach, but what are we young people supposed to do? Should we give up? Is there nothing else to do, but to resign and finally commit that the world climate like we´ve known it will no longer exist for future generations?
No! Thats not the way to proceed!
We have to learn from the mistakes which have been done and try to succeed this time or when our generation finally will be in charge.
The Climate Conference in Bonn, still dealing with the hangover of Copenhagen, has once again started working towards a global solution which will hopefully be found in Cancun this year.
But also we, the young generation, have to stay active.
This year in Mexico city a world youth conference is going to take place in order to create input and strategies for the implementation of the millennium development goals. We as the German youth delegates will also raise our voices in order to further proceed with millennium development goal number 7, environmental sustainability, which is also dealing with climate.
With national states failing with taking responsibility for the whole world international non-governmental organisations are becoming more and more important. Their action is not limited by national boarders or interests and therefore their influence concerning finding a global approach to climate challenges should be strengthened.
But our responsibility is not only limited to the international and global level!
It´s also up to us all, up to everyone of us, to save our planet and to stop climate change. We have to start by ourselves not just through demands addressed to our society or our politicians.
Because of our personal actions we have the responsibility to secure our environment. For example through buying regional, seasonal, biological and fair trade products and an effective dealing with resources and energy we can influence the economy and our society.
Doing so we can become role models for others, because through our actions we create awareness and encourage people to also get engaged in climate protection. Making one´s actions public you can further enhance the effectiveness of your activites.
We, the youth, have to raise our voices and use our rights as citizens. First of all: Vote! And after that we get involved as pupil or student representatives, join or support a political party and let the government know when you are not feeling representated by their actions in order to raise pressure.
We have to call upon our goverments and upon managers of firms to give climate a higher priority and to implement sustainable development in every steps and programs.
In non-governmental organisations like Greenpeace, NABU, or Peta and during actiondays like Stand UP against poverty we can support this and raise our voices with millions of peoples for the same goals.
Together we are strong. If every single one takes part in the fight against climate change we are able to secure our future, now.
A Model United Nation is also a way to engage yourself. But now, before this conference officially starts we want to remember you of one thing.
There are two meanings of the word model.
The first one is a realistic copy. That´s true. You´ll have to try to represent the position of your country as good as possible and always have to keep in mind what your national position is and what it allows you to do and what not. Doing so you are going to get a first hand experience of world politics and how difficult it is to find compromises which are agreeable for the majority and at the same time still useful.
But there is also a second meaning of the world model!
A model can also be an idealistic version of reality and something everyone should follow.
We Youth Delegetes want to encourage you to keep this in mind while you are sitting in your comittee chairs.
Besides staying true to your country’s position always try to be for a certain percentage some kind of a role model united nations.
Push the doors of possibilites a crack more open, try to think a little bit out of the box of everything which has already been done, in order to not get lost in the endless debates and compromises the real United Nations have to deal with every day, but to find new solutions and ideas.
We Youth Delegetes hope that your BALMUN experience will bring you fruitful discussions, a lot of new knowledge and understanding and, maybe most important of all, valuable new friends.
Friendships which you will keep for your lifetime and which will be a start for great cooperations towards a better future for all of us.
Finally we hope that you will take this motivation, this engagement and this idealism, which you are going to experience the next days, with you back home and that you stay active.
We, the young generation are the future of this planet, but also a part of its present.
We can´t rely on anybody else to save this planet, but ourselves.
Thank you for your attention.