Kathmandu, August 11

A two-day Asian Youth Assembly kicked off here today. The assembly has been devoted to the theme ‘Revitalising Asian Youth Integration for Climate Change in the era of SDGs’.

Co-organised by the Global Youth Parliament and the Youth Parliament of Nepal, the assembly has brought together a large number of young participants from Asia to discuss the role of youth in creating awareness about and averting the adverse impacts of climate change.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Krishna Bahadur Mahara inaugurated the assembly and called on the youths to take leadership in meeting the SDGs.

Stating that climate change had resulted in natural disasters, he said, “Entrepreneurship is the foundation of economic prosperity and hence the youth should be a change of agent to develop a self-dependent economy.”

Addressing the opening ceremony, Secretary General of SAARC AmjadHussain B Sial congratulated the co-organisers for choosing an apt theme for the assembly. He said, “The relevance of the theme of this meeting stems from the fact that the challenges of climate change and sustainable development are interlinked that must be addressed concomitantly to deliver a stable and secure world to our future generations. There is, therefore, an urgent need to effectively address the climate change issues to accelerate progress towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

According to him, youth constitute a growing proportion of the world’s population, with a majority of them living in Asia. The South Asian region is also experiencing increase in the proportion of youth in the total population. This creates a potential window of opportunity for the youth to shape the destiny of our region for the betterment of our future generations.

Secretary General Sial briefed the assembly about the initiatives taken by SAARC towards the overall development of youth in the region, with particular reference to the SAARC Social Charter, SAARC Youth Charter and SAARC Youth Awards Scheme.

“Climate Change has emerged as a global threat, posing a serious risk to the fundamental rights to life, health, food and an adequate standard of living of individuals and communities across the world,” he said.