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UNEP MGCY representative Nathan Metenier address UN General Assmebly - UN75 High Level Commemoration

In a high-level meeting to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations, world leaders in the General Assembly gathered in a virtual format today to adopt a declaration honouring the multilateral framework put in place by its founders in 1945 and pledging to better live out the promise to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.

Titled “Declaration on the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations,” the text lays out 12 succinct commitments to reanimate global resolve: leave no one behind, protect the planet, promote peace, abide by international law, place women and girls at the centre, build trust, improve digital cooperation, upgrade the United Nations, ensure sustainable financing, boost partnerships, work with youth, and, finally, be prepared.

“We are not here to celebrate,” world leaders said, through the declaration. “Our world is not yet the world our founders envisaged 75 years ago.”

UNEP MGCY representative Nathan Metenier was among 4 youth that addressed the General Assembly. Hailing from France and 21 years old, Nathan works with the Generation Climate Europe (one of the largest coalition of the youth-led groups on environment and climate change in Europe) and also helps coordinate Youth Environment Europe.

“When Brazil is in flames, when Sudan is underwater, when the largest iceberg has just broken off the Greenland shelf, what world are you leaving us?” - said Nathan.

The problem is not the lack of ideas and solutions, he said, but the international community’s love for models that have proven insufficient. Stressing the need to look beyond gross domestic product (GDP) and shift from models that are obsessed with infinite economic growth, he noted that inequality has reached intolerable dimensions.

“Trust your people, trust your youth,” he said.

The UN75 commemoration marks the convergence of the year-long process undertaken by the UN system under the banner of UN75 to bring "United Nations closer to people", which comprised several consultations world-wide.

UNEP MGCY has been advocating for meaningful youth engagement in the UN system, and putting environment at heart of the recovery from COVID-19. Read more about our positions at the Submissions and Interventions portal.

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