From Hon Emomotimi Guwor ; Member Representing Warri South -West State Constituency:
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY TO ALL YOUTHS OUT THERE!
In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 54/120 endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers of Youth as an outcome of their meeting in Lisbon (8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.
Part of the main objective according to the resolution was to provide an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate young peoples’ views and initiatives on a global scale.
In its 22nd year, this resolution has made a tremendous impact promoting youth inclusiveness and response in addressing major global issues such as climate change, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, conflict, and migration. And most cases these actions have yielded unprecedented mobilization of young people in politics, social and economic transformation demonstrating the massive power youth possess to influence sustainable change been part and also holding decision-makers accountable.
This year’s theme; “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health” is of great interest to me as much as the theme of last year. This is because it talks about the indispensable role of youth in achieving a cleaner, safe and healthier planet and addressing one of the basic psychological needs of humans (food) which tends to affect not less than 811 million people leaving them to go to bed without food and causing over 2,152 infant deaths every minute (AAH, 2021; UNICEF, 2018).
At the nexus of this discourse is the environment; it’s potential to sustain and feed the growing world population amidst the rising pollution of the ecosystem and its resources.
As a young lawmaker, I have a glimpse of the implication of the future consequences of an abused environment having had a first experience seen the massive environmental crisis confronting my people in the riverine communities occasioned by oil and gas production activities. Inhabitants of these communities continue to lose their livelihood (fishing and farming) in addition very high health vulnerability due to poor air and water quality.
Last year I join the global call for action through a bill I presented before the Delta State House of Assembly for a law to conserve the environment and its resources in Delta State with an understanding that no one can build a better future for you other than yourself. Dr. Agnes Kalibata, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Food Systems Summit in emphasizing the future and youth put it this way, “…we cannot build a better future for tomorrow without including the youth of today.”
That bill has passed the public hearing stage and hopeful will be passed before the end of the third quarter of 2021 and will address the fundamental ills done against the environment, protect our biodiversity (fishes, air, water, crops, animals, etc.) from being polarized and enable us to bequeath the next generation a clean and safe environment.
I consider this bill when passed into law as one of my major contributions to this year’s International Youth Day celebration.
In retrospect, I acknowledge and greatly commend youth all across Nigeria, especially in Delta State making a tremendous effort to protect the environment and also making food accessible to the most vulnerable.
And to every youth accomplishing extraordinary feats in all other sectors (education, technology, fashion, entertainment, agriculture, entrepreneurship, social works, etc.) notwithstanding the odds, your story is a rare inspiration. Thank you for the much you are doing to engineer better. Keep up the good work and always know that the world celebrates goodness. Remember you are the greatest force for any social and economic change.
This is my 2021 International Youth Day Impact Story.
Once again Happy International Youth Day to the 1.8 billion global community of youth and congratulation to all change makers.
Wishing a memorable celebration.
Good morning to all Facebook friends and family.