Open Letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
Open Letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
His Excellency Antonio Guterres
United Nations Secretary-General
United Nations Secretarial
42 Street, New York, NY 10017
7 August 2020
RE: Inclusion of children in the Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change
Congratulations on your recent announcement of seven young climate leaders between the ages of 18 and 28 years old to your Youth Advisory Group on climate change, who will advise you regularly on accelerating global action and the action to tackle the worsening climate crisis. We appreciate this important focus on bringing young leaders into decision-making and planning processes related to climate action. We also welcome the emphasis you place on receiving and giving frank and fearless advice, and the urgency of holding government and corporate leaders to account on climate action.
We are disappointed, however, that you have not expanded this list of young climate leaders to children in all their diversity. Millions of children took part in school strikes for climate action in 2019 and early 2020 and demonstrated their outrage and constructive solutions in equal measure. They have been agents of change in the climate debate using their channels of influence-schools, social media, and street protest-to catalyse global activism on the climate crisis. We have seen children from the global North to the global South engaging with political and corporate leaders- in their home countries and also within the international system-most recently at the UN Human Rights Council-claiming their right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment as critical foundation to realizing their wellbeing and rights.
It was, after all, a child. Greta Thunberg, who sparked this global movement through an inspiriting solo protest in 2018. By 2019, she was able to rightly assert: "We proved that it does not matter what you do and that no one is too small to make a difference." In 2020, children are saying the same thing. Like Fabrizio, a 16 year old boy from Peru, who told us on a recent child-led online conversation, "The Future of Children is at stake now, tomorrow will be too late." Children like Fabrizio are vocal in their anxiety that our dash to economic recovery will scupper climate change at net-zero commitments. They continue to pressure on us all for urgency, and to fight for a green recovery.
Once again, Secretary-General, we congratulate you on the establishment of the Youth Advisory Group on climate change. We ask, however, that it be inclusive of children and adolescents younger than 18; respecting their right to be heard and to contribute their expertise directly. We also ask that as preparations for COP26 advance, you call for the UK and Italy to give children a safe space to influence these upcoming preparatory events. We would of course be happy to support a process that facilitates meaningful engagement with children across the globe on both your Group and COP26.
If the last two years have taught us anything it is that children, armed with information and a sense of purpose, have a unique role to play by participating in decision-making processes and in combating crises with constructive solutions. Let us make sure that we learn and apply this lesson to the planning process related to climate action.
Save the Children
Child Rights Connect
Glossary from the Text
accelerating /əkˈsɛləreɪtɪŋ/ - making something happen more quickly
account /əˈkaʊnt/ - a report or description of an event or experience
activism /ˈæktɪvɪzəm/ - the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change
adolescent /ˌædəˈlɛsənt/ - a young person in the process of developing from a child into an adult
agent /ˈeɪdʒənt/ - a person or thing that takes an active role or produces a particular effect
anxiety /æŋˈzaɪəti/ - a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome
assert /əˈsɜrt/ - state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully
catalyze /ˈkatəlʌɪz/ - cause or accelerate (a reaction) by acting as a catalyst
climate /ˈklaɪmət/ - the weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long period
commitment /kəˈmɪtmənt/ - the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
corporate /ˈkɔːpərət/ - of or relating to a large company or group
decision-making /dɪˈsɪʒnˌmeɪkɪŋ/ - the process of making choices, especially important ones
demonstrate /ˈdɛmənstreɪt/ - show or prove something clearly and convincingly
diversity /daɪˈvɜːsɪti/ - a range of different things
economic /ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk/ - relating to economics or the economy
emphasis /ˈɛmfəsɪs/ - special importance or significance given to something
engage /ɪnˈɡeɪdʒ/ - participate or become involved in
establishment /ɪˈstæblɪʃmənt/ - the action of establishing something
expertise /ˌɛkspɜːˈtiːz/ - expert skill or knowledge in a particular field
frank /fræŋk/ - open, honest, and direct in speech or writing
global /ˈɡləʊbl/ - relating to the whole world; worldwide
government /ˈɡʌvənmənt/ - the group of people with the authority to govern a country or state; a particular ministry in office
holding /ˈhəʊldɪŋ/ - keeping in one's possession; retaining
inclusive /ɪnˈkluːsɪv/ - including all the services or items normally expected or required
influence /ˈɪnflʊəns/ - the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something
inspiriting /ɪnˈspɪrɪtɪŋ/ - uplifting or encouraging
Exercise of Open Letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
A. Fill in the blanks with the correct words given below.
[tackle, corporate, outrage, catalyse, at stake, net-zero, expertise]
a. The ..... headquarters of the company is in Dubai.
b. According to Greta, the leaders are failing to ....... the key issues.
c. Some viruses ..... the step in the production of other viruses.
d. His ..... in business helped him greatly to run the company.
e. Nepal governing plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to .......
f. He does not have good knowledge of the business. So, he has put his investment .....
g. His controversial remarks caused public ......
B. Write whether the following sentences are 'True' or 'False'. Write 'Not Given' if the information is not found in the letter.
a. Save the Children congratulates Antonio Guterres on his recent appointment as the General Secretary of the UN. - Not Given
b. The Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change was announced at the request of children between 18-21 years of age. - False
c. The dissatisfaction is that the representation of children is not inclusive. - True
d. Greta Thunberg protested for the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. - True
e. The children demand their physical safety in the UK and Italy.- Not Given
f. The children think that they can participate in decision-making to fight against the climate crisis.-True
C. Answer the following questions.
a. Where is the office of the UN Secretary-General?
Answer: The office of the UN Secretary-General is in New York.
b. What is the purpose of writing this letter to Antonio Guterres?
Answer: The purpose of writing this letter to Antonio Guterres is to request him to include children and adolescents younger than 18 in the Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change.
c. Why was the Youth Advisory Group announced?
Answer: The Youth Advisory Group was announced to advise Antonio Guterres on accelerating global action and the ambition to tackle the worsening climate crisis.
d. What roles have children played in the time of climate crisis?
Answer: Children have played the role of agents of change in the climate debate using their channels of influence - schools, social media, and street protests - to catalyze global activism on the climate crisis.
e. Describe Greta Thunberg and Fabrizio's contributions.
Answer: Greta Thunberg sparked the global movement through an inspiring solo protest in 2018 and children like Fabrizio are vocal in their anxiety that our dash to economic recovery will scupper climate change and net-zero commitments.
f. What is the final demand of the children?
The final demand of the children is to make the Youth Advisory Group on climate change inclusive of children and adolescents younger than 18, respecting their right to be heard and to contribute their children a safe space to influence these upcoming preparatory events.
D. As a student, what roles can you play to control climate change and its effects?
To control climate change and its effects, we can play the given roles:
- Reducing the carbon footprint by using public transport, walking or cycling instead of driving, and consuming less meat and dairy.
- Conserving energy by turning off lights and unplugging electronics when not in use, and using energy-efficient appliances.
- Using less water by taking shorter showers, fixing leaks, and using refillable water bottles instead of single-use plastic bottles.
- Educating others about climate change and its impacts, and advocating for policy changes at the local, national, and international levels.
- Supporting renewable energy and other sustainable practices by investing in green technologies and supporting businesses and organizations that prioritize sustainability.
A. Choose the correct alternatives to complete the sentences.
a. Abhilasha said that she witnessed the accident.
b. The teacher explained that the earth revolves round the sun.
c. Smarika says that she can't stay here anymore.
d. Sachita says that she loves to listen to music.
e. My brother reported that he had completed his homework.
f. My father said that the sun is very hot.
g. Jenifer said that she wants to be a nurse.
B. Rewrite the following sentences in indirect speech.
a. Raima said, "We had to cross the river and go ahead.
Answer: Raima said that they had to cross the river and go ahead.
b. Smarika said, " I will meet you tomorrow, friends."
Answer: Smarika said that she would meet her friends the following day.
c. "I can't come to school tomorrow," Chandani said.
Answer: Chandani said that she couldn't come to school the following day.
d. Dorje said, "Sorry, I cannot lend you any money today."
Answer: Dorje said that he could not lend me any money that day and apologized for it.
e. The teacher said, "Now, you can solve the remaining problems yourselves."
Answer: The teacher said that we could solve the remaining problems ourselves then.
f. The police said, "The incident probably took place yesterday."
Answer: The police said that the incident probably took place the day before.
g. I said to him, "I live in Changunarayan these days."
Answer: I told him that I lived in Changunarayan those days.
h. They said to us, "We would like to join you too."
Answer: They told us that they would like to join us too.
i. The Science teacher said, "The coal gives off thick smoke."
Answer: The Science teacher said that the coal gave off thick smoke.
j. Resham said, "I have never seen such a strange animal anywhere else."
Answer: Resham said she had never seen such a strange animal anywhere.
k. "I love my children more than wealth," the father said.
Answer: The father said that he loved his children more than wealth.
Write a letter to the Mayor of your municipality or the Chairperson of your rural municipality requesting him/her to involve the representatives of children in the decision-making process related to children's issues in your municipality/rural municipality.
March 3, 2023,
Lalitpur Metropolitan City
I am writing this letter to express my concern regarding the lack of representation of children in decision-making processes related to issues affecting them in our metro politant city.
As a responsible citizen and a student, I feel it is imperative that we involve children in these discussions as they are the ones who are most affected by the decisions that are taken.
I would like to request you to kindly consider involving representatives of children in decision-making processes related to children's issues in our municipality/rural municipality. Children are often the most vulnerable members of our community, and their needs and concerns must be taken into account while making decisions that affect them. I believe that this would not only help in creating a more inclusive decision-making process but also foster a sense of responsibility and ownership among the children.
As we all know, climate change is a growing concern globally, and children are among the most affected by its consequences. Therefore, it is imperative that we listen to their voices and take steps to mitigate their effects. By involving them in the decision-making process, we will be able to come up with more effective solutions to the problems that we are facing.
I would be grateful if you could consider my request and take the necessary steps to involve representatives of children in decision-making processes related to children's issues in our municipality/rural municipality.
This would be a positive step towards creating a more inclusive and sustainable community.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Skimming: Skimming is a technique used to quickly read through a text to get a general idea of the content. This involves reading quickly and not worrying about understanding every word. Skimming can be useful when you need to get an overview of a long text or when you are looking for specific information. Examples of when you might use skimming include reading a newspaper or magazine article to get an idea of the content or reading a chapter in a textbook to get an overview of the material.
Scanning: Scanning is a technique used to quickly find specific information in a text. This involves looking for keywords or phrases that are related to the information you need. Scanning can be useful when you need to find specific information quickly. Examples of when you might use scanning include looking for a phone number in a directory or searching for a specific word or phrase in a document.
Intensive reading: Intensive reading is a technique used to thoroughly understand and analyze a text. This involves reading slowly and carefully, focusing on understanding the meaning of each word and sentence. Intensive reading can be useful when you need to fully understand complex or difficult material, such as academic articles or technical manuals.
Extensive reading: Extensive reading is a technique used to read a large amount of material quickly, without necessarily understanding every word. This involves reading at a comfortable pace and not worrying about understanding every detail. Extensive reading can be useful when you need to get an overview of a subject or when you are reading for pleasure. Examples of when you might use extensive reading include reading a novel or browsing the internet for information.
Reading comprehension is the process of understanding the meaning and significance of written words and ideas. It is a vital skill for success in many academic and professional fields, as well as in daily life. Here are some reading comprehension techniques that can help you better understand what you are reading:
Previewing: Previewing involves looking at the material before reading it. This can include reading the title, subtitle, and any headings or subheadings. Previewing helps you get an idea of what the reading is about, and can help you focus your attention on the most important information.
Skimming: Skimming is a technique for quickly reading through a text to get a general idea of its content. Skimming involves reading quickly and not worrying about understanding every word. This technique can be useful when you need to get an overview of a long text.
Scanning: Scanning is a technique for quickly finding specific information in a text. Scanning involves looking for keywords or phrases that are related to the information you need. This technique can be useful when you need to find specific information quickly.
Summarizing: Summarizing involves restating the main points of a text in your own words. This technique can help you understand and remember the most important information from a text. Summarizing is also useful for studying and reviewing information.
Visualizing: Visualizing involves creating mental images of the information you are reading. This technique can help you remember the information better and make it more meaningful. Visualizing is particularly useful for remembering complex or abstract concepts.
Questioning: Questioning involves asking yourself questions about the text as you read. This technique can help you engage with the material and focus your attention on important information. Asking questions can also help you identify areas where you need more information or clarification.
Making connections: Making connections involves relating the information in the text to your own experiences, knowledge, or interests. This technique can help you understand the material better and make it more relevant to your life. Making connections can also help you remember the information better.
These are just a few of the many reading comprehension techniques that can help you better understand what you are reading. By using these techniques and practicing them regularly, you can improve your reading comprehension skills and become a more effective reader.