Archive for the 'UN Commission for Sustainable Development' Category

Want to go to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development?

Are you a smart young person looking to help create a more sustainable future around the world? Do you want to rub shoulders with some of the most influential policymakers in sustainable development? Do you have ideas about how to improve the UN?

Agents of Change (AoC) is now accepting applications to join the SustainUS youth delegation to the Eighteenth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-18), which will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City from May 3 – 14, 2010. CSD-18 is a review session and addresses the topics of transport, chemicals, waste management, and mining. In addition, CSD-18 will follow-up on the 2006 Johannesburg Summit call to develop a 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns.

Selected delegates will have the opportunity to work with government officials, scientists, civil society representatives, and youth from around the world to review progress on issues related to sustainable development. In the past, AoC delegates have presented case studies and policy statements on behalf of youth; participated in forums with fellow representatives of civil society; and met with government delegates, international organizations, and the US State Department.

How to apply: Please respond to the questions in the Application and email your application in the form of a single Word document to Applications must be received by 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, February 17, 2010. Incomplete applications, or those not compiled into a single document, will not be considered. Applicants will be notified of their selection by early March and will be required to confirm their involvement shortly after notification. Please be sure to include all five sections of the application. If you have any questions, please contact AoC Coordinator Julia Wong at agents[at]

Climate Change and Agriculture at CSD-17


The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was established in 1992 to ensure effective follow-up to the Earth Summit by reviewing progress in the implementation of Agenda 21, Rio, Johannesburg, etc. To meet this mandate, the CSD convenes on an annual basis in 2-year thematic cycles, the first year to gather data, case studies, and related info, and the second year to draft policy that will guide development solutions that address these thematic challenges. This year, May 4th-15th, was the 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-17); a policy year addressing the themes of Agriculture, Rural Development, Desertification, Land Use, and Africa.

This was my fourth time participating in a CSD conference, and each time I notice this – it is extremely difficult to discuss sustainability, a concept defined most fundamentally by interrelationships, within a framework that compartmentalizes its issues into thematic clusters (ie. agriculture, rural development, . . . climate change, energy . . . water, human settlements, etc.). Certainly each of these themes warrants its own debates, research, and policy recommendations. It is also true that each CSD conference has an “interlinkages” working group with an objective to address the interrelationships between the themes being discussed. My point, however, is that there are interrelationships between themes of previous years, and years ahead even, that should not be left out of the conversations simply to conform to the organizational structure of the Commission. I bring this up not to complain, but to set the stage for the purpose of this blog – to highlight the important relationships between Agriculture and Climate Change that were overlooked at CSD-17.
Continue reading ‘Climate Change and Agriculture at CSD-17′

Post-Bali Dispatch: “Lighting Up” a movement in Upstate New York!

Lighten Up Caroline on April 19The bustling halls of the United Nations climate negotiations still ringing in my ears, it’s been an incredible few months since I and other youth delegates from SustainUS returned from Bali. So many friends and neighbors emailed or stopped by to say “Thanks for sending your email updates from Bali!” and “Welcome home!” I still feel the excitement of working with the best & brightest of the youth climate movement around the world.

Upon returning from Bali as a US youth delegate, I was filled with hope that humanity will create a global consciousness by rising to meet the climate emergency. In the last few months, worsening scientific predictions have only strengthened my belief that we are the leaders we seek. It’s up to us. We have the power to make the climate emergency, and the immense economic opportunities we will realize from solving it, our top priority. A bold, broad movement is needed on a scale larger than the mobilization for World War II. This mobilization will only be accomplished by unleashing a renewed civic engagement.

Continue reading ‘Post-Bali Dispatch: “Lighting Up” a movement in Upstate New York!’

Help Create A United Nations Youth Climate Change Publication and Video Project

The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report (HDR) is probably the most widely read document published by the UN every year. But the reports are not widely read by young people, which is why the UN is inviting young people to make a short, colourful summary of it.

The process is the same as before. If you did not take part last year, what we do is to create a task force of individual young people, school groups, etc. and get them to bring to life the key messages of the HDR with opinion pieces, reports, poems and stories, paintings, cartoons and photographs – so that everyone can understand these messages. The result is a beautiful, fascinating book entirely written and illustrated, designed and edited by young people. You can view the one we did last year here the design and editing is done by the young international interns here at the world-famous Peace Child International centre, near Cambridge, UK.


Water Rights And Wrongs
UNDP Water Rights & Wrongs Publication 2007


Contributors can watch the book come together, page by page, online. Also, you can suggest a different story, another photograph, painting or design element, just as if you were sitting at the Editorial Meeting table.

Continue reading ‘Help Create A United Nations Youth Climate Change Publication and Video Project’

CSD, According to Me

Earth Prayer, CSD

It was Friday evening, and as I walked up 1st Ave alongside the United Nations in NYC, the final hours of a two-year negotiation process were coming to a close. I could have gone inside and witnessed the final statements, or go across the street to my friend’s apartment and take off my shoes. I chose the latter. Not because I have a lack of appreciation for the hard work that goes into drafting the statements, or because I don’t believe in the statements, but rather because the “grand scheme of things” was singing so loud in my head that I knew I’d be unable to really listen to the mono-diplo-talk that often occurs inside the UN walls. After three years of participating in the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), here are a few thoughts according to me . . .

Continue reading ‘CSD, According to Me’

Pulling Away

As if there wasn’t enough tension already in international climate negotiations, it seems the fault line between the United States and the EU on climate change continues to pull apart. An earthquake is inevitable, something has to give.

This week, talks are floundering on a potentially vital draft declaration between the G8 countries (Britain, the United States, Russia, Canada, Japan, Italy, France, and Germany) on climate change. The agreement would be designed to get consensus from the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitting countries on how to move forward on the issue. The agreement would be endorsed by the G8 at the upcoming summit hosted by Germany in Heiligendamm from June 6 to June 8.

Continue reading ‘Pulling Away’

OPEC we are here to correct you. fossil fuels are unsustainable

Last Thursday the Children and Youth major group at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development took a brave stand to tell the truth about the fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Their address below captures the feeling of our world‚ as youth as we cry out for a truly just, sustainable energy future, whereas the Chairman‚Äôs attempt to make a joke at the end of their statement (please use gas.. I agree with you on nuclear) shows the type of inconsiderate thought we are up against.

Link to webcast of statement (forward to 1:47.25 for youth statement)

Statement given to commission during the Thursday May 10th high level discussion with major groups read by Makala and Griffin( the // indicate the part read by Griffin)

Thank you chairperson and distinguished delegates, we are grateful
for the opportunity to be here and contribute to the discussion of
these important issues.

Please stand up if you drink coffee‚ ..stand up if you drink water‚ .if
you like skiing‚ if you like honey‚ if you need food to survive. The
issues at hand are no longer abstract, or restricted by
nationalities. This is personal. Here now today for you and me. We
are looking at the earth we inherited and we are terrified.

Continue reading ‘OPEC we are here to correct you. fossil fuels are unsustainable’

From the Mountaintops to the Islands; youth feel the effects of fossil fuels from cradle to grave

Larry Gibson speaking at True cost of coal press conferenceFrom Rheldi Purdy and Reagan Richmond of the Appalachian Coal Field delegation

For the past three days we have had the honor of attending the United Nations 15th Commission on Sustainable Development as a part of the Appalachian Coal Field delegation. After our presentation to the youth caucus on the devastating effects of mountain top removal mining, we were connected with another group from across the nation that was also experiencing the effects of the fossil fuel cycle. The Orcas Island youth delegation is an amazing group of middle school students from Orcas Island in Washington State. The mission of their trip to the UN was very similar to ours, to expose the true cost of fossil fuel use on our communities and environment. We came together to share our stories with each other, and collaborate in a statement as youth across the nation who are experiencing the direct effects of fossil fuel use from cradle to grave.

Continue reading ‘From the Mountaintops to the Islands; youth feel the effects of fossil fuels from cradle to grave’

UN Delegates Living On the Front lines of Energy Extraction Speak Out

Dispatches From UN Commission on Sustainable DevelopmentLarry and Chuck, authors of this blog and coal field residents from West Virginia

This year two youth–Reagan Richmond and Rheldi Purdy – are participating in the Appalachian Coal Field Delegation’s work in the United Nations. The delegation has achieved United Nations accreditation to participate in the fifteenth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UN-CSD). The purpose of the 2007 meeting of the UN-CSD will be to set policies in place to address the review of sustainable energy policy.

The Appalachia Delegation is bringing a unique angle to the UN-CSD debates—the story of fossil fuel extraction. The mission of the Coal Field Delegation (herein after the CFD) of the Appalachian Coalition is twofold. One: To expose basic human rights violations and the environmental and economic devastation perpetrated by the coal industry in Appalachia, with the purpose of stopping current abuse and preventing further harm by coal and other fossil fuel industries both locally and globally. Two: to encourage the UNCSD and the global community to aggressively promote a transition away from destructive and inequitable energy production and toward just and sustainable conservation and production of energy.

Read on to hear how members of the CFD (pictured above) confronted the industry line that “coal is a solution” to global warming at an industry presentation. and, stay tuned for more from the delegation later this week!

Continue reading ‘UN Delegates Living On the Front lines of Energy Extraction Speak Out’

Coalfield Leaders Taking Mountaintop Removal to the U.N.

blastingphoto.jpgFrom Lauren McGrath of SOCM:

On the opening day of UN CSD-15, members of the Appalachian Coalfield Delegation attended the US Briefing on Sustainable Energy Policy. During the briefing, one of the US representatives to the United Nations commented that the “United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal”.

One of the Appalachian Coalfield Delegates commented, “It must be true that the US Government sees Appalachia as the Saudi Arabia of coal”, according to Bo Webb of the Appalachian Coalfield Delegation and resident of Coal River, WV. “Its interesting, because some citizens believe the United States is bombing the middle east for oil. Well, one of the differences in bombing Appalachia, is that we know the US is bombing Appalachia for coal – its permitted each day by our federal government”. Continue reading ‘Coalfield Leaders Taking Mountaintop Removal to the U.N.’

UN Commission for Sustainable Development

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