From April 19th – 22nd, AIESEC in Canada was invited to attend the United Nations Media Zone to cover the various high level talks that were occurring leading up to Friday’s signing ceremony. The signing ceremony was in relation to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change that was proposed in Paris late last year. This ceremony urged all 196 participating member states to sign the agreement in a push for stronger national policies and initiatives on climate change.
On April 22nd, I had the honour to have a one on one interview with Ms. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Civil Society Representative – to discuss the growing issue of climate change, and how that affects the success of youth across the globe. Ms. Hindou is very passionate about youth development, and feels that the this generation of up-incoming leaders can truly shape the way we combat the affects of climate change. “The youth are powerful, and need to be able to access the tools for success on all levels – this is how we, collectively, can make a change”. Ms. Hindou is a prominent advocate for youth in developing countries, as well as indigenous people across the world. She explains that “there is not one form of expertise” – many youth are faced with the constant dilemma that their voice is considered less than valuable if they do not have adequate access to resources like education. “We must value those whom are not privileged like the rest… they have the ability to know things, more than others, that prove to be as valuable as a degree”. Ms. Hindou promotes the importance of experiential learning, and cultural practice when in pursuit of knowledge.
Being from a rural indigenous community in Chad, Ms. Hindou knows to well the struggles a person can undergo when trying to have a voice amongst many people, let alone an assembly of world leaders. She describes her experience growing up as difficult, but her faith and determination never wavered. Ms. Hindou maintained her strength because she knew that creating a voice for those who had none needed be a priority. Ms. Hindou does not deny the importance of business, but states that “we are at a perfect point in our development, where youth now are so incredibly influenced by civil society and a desire to change the world”, she then goes on by saying that “With this desire, we can already see youth taking leadership positions and including social development as a core part of their business…”
“Though things are changing, there is still many things that need to be done, and I think with the world leaders pushing for stronger sustainability initiatives, this change will happen, but it must come with the perspectives and knowledge from all groups of people” Ms. Hindou mentions at the end of our interview. I completely agree with this statement – we as a youth collective are making strides to make social impact through business, but there are many “holes” that still need to be filled, and with time and effort it can be achieved.
Below you can find a snippet of Ms. Hindou’s public interview at the UN Media Zone.
We will be posting more one on one interviews with various world leaders in the days to come. Keep up with our Blog pages as well as your Media Publications page for more info on what AIESEC in Canada is up to!