PALIKIR, November 12th, 2021 – The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia has officially signed the global Declaration on Children, Youth, and Climate Action this week in a bid to put children’s rights and voices at the center of the climate crisis.
“Children have an inalienable right to a healthy environment,” His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia, said in a statement following the signing. “I call upon the international community to explore establishing an international Commission for Children & Future Generations, as well as scaling up and strengthening investment in child-and-youth responsive adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and mitigation measures.”
The Declaration, launched during COP25 and supported by UNICEF, YOUNGO, and the Children’s Environmental Rights Initiative Coalition, represents a first-of-its-kind set of commitments by States to consistently consider children’s specific needs, rights, and perspectives in their climate policies as well as action at all levels.
The signing of the Declaration solidifies global recognition that the climate crisis is a child rights crisis. This commitment also recognizes children and youth as powerful agents for change.
It also seeks to address the widespread omission of children from being explicitly recognized and included in processes, as well as strategic national documents such as climate policies, strategies, and plans. In the same way that young people lead on advocacy on the climate crisis, it is essential that children and young people are at the heart of government plans that protect them from the effects of climate change.
“UNICEF takes this opportunity to applaud the efforts and resources invested by the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia to progressively realize the rights of all children and young people in the country,” said UNICEF Pacific’s Chief of Federated States of Micronesia Field Office, Cromwell Bacareza. “We thank His Excellency, David W. Panuelo, a climate champion himself, who is here to listen, lead and take action. This signing of the Declaration sends a strong message to advocate and ensure decision-makers deliver on their responsibility.”
While alignment with the Declaration is a critical first step, UNICEF stands ready with a firm commitment to support the Federated States of Micronesia in the actions that they will be taking to operationalize its commitments.
The Federated States of Micronesia joins three other countries from the Pacific region, Fiji, Palau, and the Republic of Marshall Islands, in signing the Declaration and supporting young climate champions in the battle against the climate crisis, the most important threat to the Pacific way of life.
Notes to Editors:
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For more information, please contact: Richard Clark, Government of the Federated States of Micronesia, Tel: +691 9201612, firstname.lastname@example.org
Zubnah Khan, UNICEF Pacific, Tel: +679 9988137, email@example.com