New York, NY (April 28, 2023) – Saint Lucian national Jevanic Henry who serves on the United Nations Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Board on Climate Change, delivered the keynote message at the opening session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum which was held from April 25th – 27th, 2023. The Youth Forum is an annual event that provides a platform for young people around the world to put forward their ideas and contribute meaningfully to policy discussions. In his message, he made a rallying call to the global community, to scale up efforts in supporting young people as the catalyst to drive Sustainable Development.
Acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the socio-economic challenges faced by countries, he highlighted that the post-pandemic era provides an opportunity to rethink approaches to development and to build back better, capitalizing on the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the younger generation.
He cautioned that “We cannot allow the creation of a cemetery of youth ideas as this will put the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in jeopardy”. Henry encouraged the creation of and further investments in existing facilities which are dedicated to supporting young people in transforming their ideas into sustainable livelihoods.
Within the forum Henry, who is also currently Saint Lucia’s Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) fellow engaged in multiple sessions focusing on climate and multilateral issues, ensuring the concerns and priorities of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) remain at the heart of the global sustainable development agenda.