UAE’s Nostalgia and Hopes (2019 – 2023 – 2027)

It’s good to be back in the UAE! I still have treasured memories from June – July 2019 when I was one of 30 young folks that the UN had brought together to participate in the UN Climate Summit Preparatory meetings.

Besides the long meetings and active engagements (and good food – I must admit), we spent hours, supporting the UN Youth Envoy’s office too. Our contribution towards shaping the first youth climate action summit was immense. Staying up late into the night, filtering through thousands of applications, to nominate 100 young people from across the world who participated at the summit in New York in September 2019. 30 of us, as diverse as we were, collectively shared a positive outlook of the future – particularly young people’s centrality in global climate action. It was natural that we stayed connected and continued to work together.

It is 2023 and a lot has happened since 2019, still a lot more to be done. The nostalgia and distant familiarity of being in the same country, for the same purpose but 4 years apart leaves me thinking about how much has changed. Some colleagues became advisors to the United Nations Secretary-General, some continue to engage in many diplomatic relations, mobilizing grassroots actions, supporting (and questioning) national governments, some have acquired new degrees, some have become parents, and some have initiated/managed youth and environment-centered projects. Though we are still far from what we envisioned; as I see it, there is, at least, improved representation of young in global climate discourse and the journey has been incredible.

4 years from now, come 2027, what more changes await us? I’m curious too, however, I do not lose sight of the possibilities of a world where development is just and fair for all – with young people at the center.

1 thought on “UAE’s Nostalgia and Hopes (2019 – 2023 – 2027)”

Leave a Comment