Last December, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held its Twentieth Conference of the Parties (COP 20). Also YOUNGO, the Youth Constituency to the UNFCCC, held its tenth conference (COY 10), prior to the conference.
WAGGGS has participated at the COP 20 and the COY 10 with a small delegation of Bolivian and Peruvian girl guides led by Gina Belle, a former WAGGGS delegate from Barbados.
Although I went to the COP 20 representing my university, I had the pleasure to meet the WAGGGS delegation and work with them closely. The key messages our representatives were advocating for were the rights of youth, especially girls and young woman regarding education and capacity building under the convention, and the and the supporting of the gender equality language on the new coming agreement.
At the COY 10, the WAGGGS representatives got the chance to share their key messages with many passionate youth from all around the world that gathered there to strategize and build the key messages from YOUNGO to the COP 20. They also had the wonderful chance to learn new skills and from new issues on the different workshops that were organized during the 3-day meeting.
During the COP 20, regardless the fact that spaces for civil society were quite limited and WAGGGS has been given 3 slots, the delegation performance was brilliant. The leadership from each one of the delegates allowed the team to follow all the agenda items that were relevant for us.
The outcome document is definitely not fulfilling the demands of civil society for a fair, ambitious and binding agreement that is needed to come into force in 2015 to build resilience for climate change, but there is some useful language and there are some small victories from civil society reflected on the text. This just means that there is a lot of work to do until the COP 21 that will happen in Paris, by the end of this 2015. But we all know that a new agreement is just one of the keystones to build a sustainable future for girls and young woman. A lot of how the future will look like for them will depend on our work back home.
I must say I am specially proud of Alexandra Lozano and Vanesa Rojas, two of my former girl guides that now are exceptional leaders and made an amazing job during the COY 10. We have to thank also the incredible hospitality of the peruvian girl guides, especially Ana María Mideros, who led the peruvian girl guides team, and the leadership of Gina Belle to manage the WAGGGS delegation regardless the time constraints and the language trouble.