“The world needs your energy, courage and commitment. I draw hope from seeing your generation challenge the status quo and call for transformative change,” said the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, in his message to the Lagos State Secondary Schools Model United Nations (LASSMUN) held recently at the University of Lagos, Nigeria.
Organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) and the Lagos State Ministry of Education, through the six Education Districts in the State, the Model UN conference had over 1,930 delegates and scores of officials from 193 public secondary schools in Lagos State.
In his message delivered by Mr Ronald Kayanja, Director, United Nations Information Center (UNIC), Guterres said a central element of inclusivity was ensuring young people to fully participate in designing the world’s shared future, leading to a stronger transformative change.
“A central element” according to him, “is ensuring young people fully participate in designing our shared future and have a much stronger influence in the United Nations itself.”
Mrs Oludara Okelola, Tutor General/Permanent Secretary, Education District VI, explained that the LASSMUN couldn’t have come at a better time considering the effects of climate change on global growth and development.
“Our youths, being change agents are important stakeholders and therefore, must be involved in this serious issue of climate change.
“We believe that as future Leaders, their participation in these matters is critical as they are deliberately being enlisted and groomed through education, science, technology and all-round positive attitudes for a better world,” she added.
Amoo Ahmod, President of the the 3rd session, LASSMUN General Assembly, urged delegates to make the conference the starting point of a new era of achieving long term climate goals.
Ahmod, a student of Lagos Baptist Senior College, Agege, stated that since climate change started, it had not taken time off, but further causing devastation and disruption to lives and livelihood across the world.
“Let’s get set to work and cooperate with multilateral institutions such as the UN and other stakeholders to amplify our collective strength, speed and progress toward dealing with global challenges,” he said.
The Secretary General of LASSMUN 2022, Esther Onafusi, of Oriwu Senior Model College Ikorodu, emphasized that government policies should give priority to inclusion of young people in combating climate change challenges, while budgetary provision for recycling and decarbonization is diligently funded.
In her remarks, Ms Titilayo Solarin, Tutor General/Permanent Secretary Education District I, said the student delegates were ready to face challenges of the future.
She noted that they already had answers to problems being faced globally, judging from how they handled activities at the
The theme of LASSMUN 2022 was ‘Combating climate change and its impacts – The role of young people’.