Embassy of Sweden in Pakistan, UNDP, WWF Pakistan, and Stockholm+50 Youth Task Force hold a National Youth Dialogue on Right to a Healthy Environment

Posted May 17, 2022

Islamabad, May 17, 2022—A youth dialogue on the right to a clean and healthy environment was organized by the Embassy of Sweden in Pakistan, UNDP, WWF Pakistan, and Stockholm+50 Youth Task Force today. The dialogue engaged youth, multilateral organizations, civil society, and policymakers to have a focused conversation on what this right means in the local context. Senator Sherry Rehman, Federal Minister for Climate Change attended the event as Chief guest.

Sweden is hosting Stockholm+50, a crucial international environmental meeting on 2nd and 3rd June 2022. The youth dialogue aimed to create awareness amongst Pakistani youth regarding their role at a multilateral level; at the policymaking tables, such as the Stockholm+50 International Meeting, and at the climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COPs).

H.E. Henrik Persson, Ambassador of Sweden to Pakistan, welcomed the participants and said, “Sweden is on the track to become world’s first fossil-free welfare state, reaching net zero emissions by 2045. Stockholm+50 is an opportunity to consider what is going well, what can be improved and what we can do to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Voices of youth needs to be communicated to the leaders to drive action to achieve sustainable development. It is possible to create a better future if we act together. Sweden is open for collaboration.”

Speaking at the occasion, Knut Ostby, Resident Representative, UNDP Pakistan said, “Pakistan is the fifth most populous and one of the youngest countries in the world. Currently, 68% of Pakistanis are below the age of 30, and 27% are aged between 15 and 29. The current moment presents an opportunity for young Pakistanis to drive transformative changes on ground and be ambassadors of climate action. Through increased cooperation and dialogue, the youth can help strengthen the ability of businesses and governments to deal with impacts of climate change. The youth now have the chance to advocate for a resilient and greener economy that will lead to prosperity, new jobs, and a healthier planet.”

Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General WWF-Pakistan, stated “As the largest conservation organization in Pakistan, WWF-Pakistan has been working to foster young people’s connection with nature. Last year alone, we engaged with over 14,000 youth through various initiatives. At WWF, we believe that youth are both advocates and catalysts of change and thus, an essential part of decision making. Therefore, we are working with partners to not only develop young people’s knowledge about sustainable development, but also connect them to experts, businesses, and government, and elevate their voices to appropriate platforms.”

Over 60 young people aged between 11-25 participated in the dialogues and shared their policy proposals towards the right to a healthy environment. The dialogue was moderated by Ms Saher Rashid Baig, a Pakistani member of the Stockholm+50 Youth Task and a Global youth advocate for climate, ocean, gender, and human rights.

The desired and concrete policy demands of the Youth Dialogue will be communicated to the Stockholm+50 Secretariat and incorporated in the policy positions of the Stockholm+50.

For additional information, please contact

Ayesha Babar, Communications Analyst & Head of Communications Unit, UNDP Pakistan | ayesha.babar@undp.org or +92 (51) 835 5650

Samar Saeed Akhtar, Promotion Officer, Embassy of Sweden | samar.saeed.akhtar@gov.se

About UNDP:

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at undp.org or follow at @UNDP