UN youth conference ahead of COP28 sets agenda for future

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Participants in the Conference of Youth ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP28) pose for a group photo in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Nov 26, 2023. (PHOTO / WAM-EMIRATES NEWS AGENCY)

DUBAI – The 18th edition of the United Nations Youth Conference (COY18) which commenced on Sunday, November 26, at Expo Dubai addressed many critical issues faced by the global community on climate change.

COY18UAE featured a session highlighting the Arab Youth Technology Fellowship (AYTF) and its role in cultivating a sustainable future through technology.

Over 60 attendees gathered to explore the technical solutions devised by young participants and the positive impact of the AYTF program on their knowledge and skills.

Youths have highlighted the importance of creating green jobs in solving the current global climate crisis and to solve unemployment among young people

The Arab Youth Center (AYC) actively engaged in COY18, showcasing its Arab Youth Technology Fellowship (AYTF) Program.

The program’s core objective is to raise awareness among youth about the pivotal role of technology in achieving sustainable development goals, a crucial focus as the UAE gears up to host the forthcoming COP28 conference dedicated to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

A key program goal is to empower youth with the skills to harness technology and artificial intelligence (AI) in advancing the 2030 Sustainable Development and COP28 objectives.

The session featured presentations on the innovative outcomes of former participants during COY18, spotlighting their journey, knowledge, and expertise gained through the AYTF program.

Mai Ismail, an AYTF Alumni, and David Lais, a climate activist and co-founder of Ecolytiq, led a panel discussion during the session.

Lais said: “The session revolved around harnessing technology to construct more sustainable societies. Its focus was on utilizing technology for education, making it more accessible and tangible to people. We help people to understand their day-to-day tasks and to demonstrate practical ways of integrating technology into their routines.”

ALSO READ: Conference of Youth kicks off in Dubai ahead of COP28

Moreover, Mai Ismail emphasized, “The fellowship program aims to empower and showcase the capabilities of emerging talent in advanced technology, artificial intelligence applications, and the digital economy.”

The AYTF not only benefits the youth and policymakers in the Arab world but also contributes to global advancements in technology and sustainable development.

The program envisions preparing a generation of youth to lead the technology and digital landscape in the region, offering Arab youth the opportunity to learn from key experts in digital and technology fields.

The current edition of the program, its third, places a strong emphasis on the transformative power of technology, aiming to train youth to become pioneers in advanced technology capable of crafting innovative solutions across multiple sectors in the Arab world.

This edition focuses on three main themes: technology, sustainability, and climate change, with 30 young men and women from 12 Arab countries selected to participate. These participants, specializing in technology, environmental science, and sustainability, represent the diverse talent contributing to the program’s success.

Green jobs can help tackle the climate crisis

Youths have also highlighted the importance of creating green jobs in solving the current global climate crisis and to solve unemployment among young people.

In a panel discussion titled “Fostering Just Transition: the Importance of Green Jobs for Youths”, Lateefa Al Noami from YOUNGO said green jobs are at the forefront of the transition and they are the pathway to achieve greener economies.

“There is need to include everybody, especially, the affected communities and indigenous people who don’t have access to resources, in creating green jobs to pave the way for them to have adjust transition and to put them at the forefront of the climate agenda,” she said.

Abdelrahman Fahmy, managing director of ECO Hubs in Dubai said the private sector can play a leading role in providing green jobs and green opportunities for young people to bridge the value chain of the energy sector. “This is through providing new business solutions and new energy solutions in the energy sector through entrepreneurship or direct employment for young officers working on the green transition,” he said.

READ MORE: UN: COP28 must set stage for immediate climate action

According to the youths, nuclear energy is one of the best ways to decarbonize the energy sector right now worldwide. They said that the nuclear energy is the second largest producer of clean energy and it’s also the safest form of energy.

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