Mary Robinson, who is the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that in her experience, the UN system is frustrating but essential. However, she noted, the UN does respond to pressure from civil society – so the efforts of activists like Sara are very important.
Gro Harlem Brundtland, who led the World Commission on Environment and Development in the 1980s and served as UN Special Envoy on Climate Change from 2007-2010, agreed: "The UN isn't perfect, but it's what we have."
Read more about Marvin's work at http://www.theelders.org/article/meet-youngers-marvin
“One of the most incredible sources of energy for me is when I am with young people – sorry oldies!” Desmond Tutu In May 2012 four 'Youngers' – climate change activists from Nigeria, Brazil, Sweden and China – joined the Elders at their bi-annual meeting in Oslo to discuss the upcoming Rio+20 summit on sustainable development, the role of the UN, and how to mobilise civil society, especially young people, around urgent global issues.
Esther Agbarakwe and Marvin Nala travelled to Norway to meet the Elders in person, while Pedro Telles and Sara Svensson joined the group via Skype. Together with seven members of The Elders, they discussed the upcoming Rio+20 summit on sustainable development, the role of the UN, and how to mobilise civil society – especially young people – around urgent global issues.
Later that same day at a public debate in Oslo, Esther and Marvin debated some of the challenges to building a more sustainable world with Desmond Tutu, Gro Harlem Brundtland and Mary Robinson, with questions from a live online audience. Watch the video of the debate.
Photos: Jeff Moore | The Elders