Person-Centered Sustainable Development: Reflections of a Kenyan ISF Delegate

I found the four-day International Solidarity Forum of the World Youth Alliance (WYA) very educative. It involved interactions from fellow WYA members and with renowned speakers from different regions in the world.

UN Day

ISF Delegates with ISF Speaker Paloma Duran at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Learning from Expert Speakers

Father Roger Landry of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN outlined the profound approach of the Catholic Church to the Environment which lays out the responsibility we all have towards nature as human beings, the responsibility to use it sustainably. The need to learn how to respond appropriately to nature and address global climate change was emphasized on while discussing a list of ways to influence the environmental issues. This list spoke to the link between care for environment and care for the vulnerable as well as the need for leadership in everyone to make a difference in environment.

Obadias Ndaba, 4th World Youth Alliance President, discussed the need to improve the planet through smart solutions. A list of highly researched methods was shared and discussed upon, it did include the lifting of trade barriers as a very important step towards dealing with poverty and migrations being a source of attaining development sustainably.

Juan Elias Chebly the lead advisor of the United Nations Environmental Programme while talking on young people and environmental stewardship laid emphasis on intergenerational solidarity and solidarity being at the core of collaboration which is highly required in the protection of the environment. A good example brought out in his engagement was the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) which are Trans generational human rights protection mechanisms.

Nadja Wolfe the Director of Advocacy of World Youth Alliance spoke in detail the process to be followed in laying out declarations for WYA and the legal frameworks to adhere to such as international laws. The whole process of liberating on the contents to be entailed in the World Youth Alliance Declaration on Population and Environment spearheaded by her was a success. She ensured that representation of views from all the regions present in the forum was adhered to.

Drafting the WYA Declaration

WYA’s Declaration on Population and Environment was successfully drafted by members of WYA who represented the different regions of the world. It reflected the diversity present among the drafters in terms of their b

ISF delegates Lucija from Croatia and Lilian from Kenya discuss the draft Declaration on Population and Environment.

ackgrounds.

The actual brainstorming of issues raised in the zero draft was not only intellectual but also procedural thus ensuring proper representation of all persons. This fulfilled the mission of WYA which is to promote human dignity in a way that ensures the voice of the youth across the world is heard.

The liberation of members at regional level ensured that the content of the declaration captured the different needs among youth in the regions. This resulted to a feeling of ownership and satisfaction to all the drafters present. As a result of taking ownership there was also the impression of responsibility among all youths towards the protection of the environment. This successfully brought out stewardship.

As a result of previous interactions with the speakers, before the drafting took place, which brought out an in depth understanding of the environment we the drafters of the declaration linked the protection of environment to the attainment of sustainable development.

Protection of Human Dignity

It is at the ISF that I learnt population growth is an asset towards solving the global challenges faced today through invention by persons. This eventually leads to the sustainable development that is being sought after in the entire globe.

ISF delegates and organizes pose for a group photo.

I now comprehend what we mean by population growth not being a burden to the attainment of development. The entire experience upheld the protection of human dignity which is core to World Youth Alliance.

Written by Lilian Kamau, a member from WYA Africa.