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Regional Conference of Youth MENA attracts over 150 young people from across the region

The World Green Economy Summit in Dubai hosted the Regional Conference of Youth (RCOY) MENA 2022. More than 150 young people from across the region took part in the conference, in addition to 30 speakers who are experts, specialists and VIPs. The two-day conference discussed a range of topics related to the skill development of young people in global climate policies, empowering them, and making their voices heard in climate action policies.

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, MD&CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Chairman of the Green Economy Organization (WGEO), delivered the opening speech of the conference. RCOY was co-hosted by WGEO and Act Sustainable, in collaboration with the Arab Youth Center, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Youth Non-Governmental Organizations (YOUNGO).

In his keynote speech, Al Tayer said that the Regional Conference for Youth MENA 2022 organised in the UAE constitutes a milestone in engaging and encouraging youth in the global climate action agenda and working toward a greener and more sustainable economy. It provides an opportunity for the younger generation to contribute to national and regional climate policymaking and climate negotiations. This is significant, as the younger generations will have to live with the consequences of climate change. So, youth must be engaged in policymaking and preparation as future leaders, championing a sustainable green economy across the globe.

“We at WGEO, are dedicated to facilitating the transition to a green economy on a global scale, but this will require cooperation and partnerships from all of us, particularly our younger generation. In this endeavour, we have brought together young people and future leaders from 22 different nations of the MENA region this year, under one roof, to build new coalitions, networks and deepen their sustainability knowledge. This conference provides a platform for capacity building and policy training, to prepare young people for their participation in the UN Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY) and Conference Of Parties (COP). The Regional Conference is designed to develop a network among MENA youth to prepare and train the Arab and North African youth to host and lead the COP27/COY17, which will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in 2022. RCOY is a global platform to enhance their engagement of stakeholders in the multilateral process,” said Al Tayer.

“For us in the UAE, leading the way in adopting green economy concepts and methods within the context of sustainable development and climate change resilience is crucial. We, as a nation, have set out on a path to being a global hub and an example of how a green economy can achieve economic viability while protecting the environment for future generations. This vision of the UAE leadership to achieve a sustainable green economy can be seen in our national policies. I would like to extend a warm invitation to world youth leaders to join us on this journey as we work to improve the future for us and the next generations. We must support effective green economic solutions that meet our economic and environmental needs as well as the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals,” Al Tayer added.

“The World Green Economy Organization is here to contribute to steering this transition and facilitate the collaboration between policymakers, young people and other stakeholders. We trust that the MENA region has strong potential to provide effective solutions that will help many countries mitigate and adapt to climate change and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. But for this, the young generation from the region will have to play a significant role in policy making to foster a green sustainable economy. The UAE is dedicated to bringing about a green economy. And it will continue to support international gatherings like this in its capacity, bringing young people together to create a platform to foster a green economy and sustainable development. I hope today, in this gathering, we will take another leap forward and accelerate towards a sustainable global green economy,” concluded Al Tayer.

Regional COYs and Local COYs are organised prior to the Global COY (GCOY), which is the largest and most important youth conference related to the multilateral UN climate processes. The conferences are aimed at localising the climate conversation and gathering inputs from the ground, which are then incorporated into national and regional climate policies, thereby paving the way for climate negotiations.

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