The Swiss Pavilion mobilizes youth to advocate for a water-secure world
Switzerland concludes Water Month at Expo 2020 Dubai by focusing on young people as a driving force for sustainable development
Dubai, 25 March 2022 – To mark the end of the Water Month at the Swiss Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), organised yesterday a panel discussion on the topic of Youth Engagement for a Water Secure World. The event focused on young people as a driving force for development towards the 2030 UN agenda for sustainable development.
Representatives from international organisations and initiatives such as World Youth Parliament for Water; the Global Programme Water (GPW), which is a thematic division of the SDC; 1 million Youth Action Challenge, an initiative launched by the SDC; attended the panel.
The event showcased Switzerland’s commitment to water diplomacy and sustainable use of resources by stimulating positive youth engagement for a sustainable future. The event at the Swiss Pavilion allowed various stakeholders from different age groups, sectors, and countries to join forces to openly discuss a range of topics related to water cooperation and peace
Mr. Manuel Salchli, Commissioner General of the Swiss Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Today, still around 30% of the world population, hence 2.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. Young people are often seen as primary victims of the local and global water-related challenges, though, on a good note, there is luckily also an increasing and very important focus on the potential of youth as solution providers for these problems. In the future, they are the ones who will be inheriting the bulk of the challenges that arise from how we manage and protect our water resources today. Their contribution is invaluable in successful sustainable development.”
Mr. Slachli added: “We need disruptive thinking and innovative capacities that challenge traditional approaches to sustainable development if we want to achieve our goals. Young people can have a significant positive impact on the social and economic development of their communities, and we want to harness that potential.”
The event was organised as part of Switzerland’s Blue Peace initiative. It was launched by SDC in 2010 with the aim of creating water cooperation across multiple stakeholders to foster peace, stability and sustainable development. Since then, it has launched multiple programmes in several water-stressed regions and become an internationally recognised movement.