Tuesday, 8 December 2009

"You have been negotiating all my life": Solomon Islander teen to COP15.

Born in 1992 when the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed by 154 states, 17 year old Christina Ora made a moving speech at the closing plenary of the opening of the COP15 on Monday. 
Christina made the speech on behalf of the global youth constituency. During the two weeks of the climate change conference, she will be working with the Solomon Islands Delegation and Project Survival Pacific, a project of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, to raise the voice of Pacific island countries. In a moving two minute speech she made in front of thousands of people, Ms Ora said that youth are mobilizing support from millions of people all over the world for the fair, adequate and legally binding agreement that youth deserve. “I speak on behalf of the international youth to express the urgency of the climate crises for my generation, your children and your grandchildren.“I was born in 1992, you have been negotiating all my life you cannot tell us that you need more time, commit now to decisions that will guarantee our future,” Ora said. 

She said this is the first year for youths to be recognized as an official constituency representing the global youth movement in which young people and youth organizations have joined hands to prevent the negotiators from negotiating their future away.“It is now your responsibility to build on this support to finally take political action,” Ora said. 

After the speech, Ora said that she was honoured to be given the privilege of speaking for the youth constituency.

"I was proud to be a young Solomon Islander, standing up for young people and people from vulnerable communities all over the world,” she said.  

Ora was selected to speak on behalf of the global youth because of her experience in Canada when she attended a speaking tour on climate change in October this year.

Gina Maka'a, contributing writer, Solomon's Star.

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