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Empowering youth for sustainable islands
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1 Aug 2014 - With less than two months until the UN Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa on 1-4 September, Conference Secretary-General Wu Hongbo brought together youth representatives from small island nations for a Google+ Hangout on 24 July 2014. Under the topic, ‘Samoa 2014: Empowering Youth for Sustainable Islands’, young people from Mauritius, Barbados and Samoa were invited to discuss with Mr. Wu, issues of importance to achieve sustainable islands and a healthier planet.

“The voices and input of youth are critical for the upcoming Conference in Samoa, as well as for the ongoing work to shape and drive forward progress towards the post-2015 development agenda,” Mr. Wu said ahead of the hangout event. Young people representing all three SIDS regions - the Pacific, the Caribbean, and the AIMS (Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea) regions – took part.

The hangout, which lasted more than an hour, touched upon many issues of importance for youth in SIDS, including capacity building, awareness raising, quality education and employment opportunities. Mr. Wu expressed his appreciation for this exchange. “I think many of the areas which they covered are very important,” he said. “I heard several times that partnerships were mentioned,” Mr. Wu added, referring to the fact that genuine and durable partnerships will be the main theme of the conference.