Youth4Climate: Powering Action

Opening and closing statements delivered by Haoliang Xu at the high level side event: Youth4Climate: Powering Action alongside the 77th UN General Assembly

September 21, 2022

Youth4Climate: Powering Action



Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,  

Dear Youth4Climate Leaders and Colleagues,  

Let me join Minister Cingolani in welcoming you to the ‘Youth4Climate:Powering Action’ flagship global event, on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP.  

It is my distinct pleasure to meet you all today!   

On behalf of the organizing team, I would like to reiterate how grateful we are to count on your in-person participation in this global gathering.  

What an impressive group on young people – you have been selected very carefully, and many of you have travelled from afar to attend and contribute!  

Thank you for making yourselves available, despite challenges you can face and commitments you have in your communities.  

I also want to acknowledge all the efforts you make in advancing the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals - be it on the ground, or on the global stage. Every day, you demonstrate courage and perseverance in making the planet a better place, demanding systemic changes, and holding institutions accountable.  

In UNDP, we witness first-hand how young people in all regions of the world are pushing us to do more, designing and implementing innovative solutions to the climate crisis and mobilizing their communities to accelerate urgent and concrete action – from Peru through digital engagement to Viet Nam in the NDC process, from Iraq through youth entrepreneurship support, to Liberia as part of peacebuilding efforts.  

Many of these young people whom UNDP partners with around the world are watching us live today. Let me recognize them and thank them as well!  

I share your worry about the impact of climate change on youth wellbeing and youth ability to decide on their present and future everywhere. Our actions - or inaction - today will shape how people adapt and how nature responds to increasing climate risks. 

I am very encouraged by your optimism, your strength and your ability to influence, despite the pandemic and the turbulent state of the world!  

UNDP, the Government of Italy and our strategic partners are all ears. We are here to primarily listen to you, your successes, challenges and recommendations. We will take note of what needs to be enhanced or scaled-up from your perspectives and we will do our best to ensure that you leave New York with new opportunities to make an impact and promote the rights of future generations.   

Be frank and candid, and please know that we are here to support. You are not alone!  

Our sincere gratitude goes to the Government of Italy for the generous support and our new joint Youth4Climate initiative launched earlier this year, in May.  

Thank you all and best wishes for fruitful exchanges!  


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Dear Youth4Climate Leaders and Colleagues, 

What a rich day we have just had! 

Many thanks for your presentations, reflections and questions.  

I believe I speak for the rest of the Organizing team in saying that we will all leave this global gathering with renewed energy and concrete ideas on how to achieve impact. 

Many thanks to the Government of Italy -Minister Cingolani-, UNFCCC – Simon-, YOUNGO, Connect4Climate/World Bank Group, the Youth Envoy -Jayathma-, the Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, and all speakers from governments, civil society, philanthropy, private sector and the broader UN family, for the strong support and solid contributions. 

Let me highlight three key points: 

  • It is essential that Governments listen to young people’s demands and step up with tangible actions to address current and future crises and support an inclusive and sustainable path towards net-zero by 2030. The NDC process is an excellent entry point to make progress on this together. 
  • We have to collectively address structural barriers to youth meaningful engagement. That means improving access to adequate, flexible and agile funding for youth and fostering safe and inclusive spaces for youth. 
  • The broader UN family is your ally. Do count on UNDP and Youth4Climate to continue to support the road to COP27. Our teams at country, regional and global levels are mobilized. Let me also seize the opportunity to extend my congratulations to Jayathma and her office for tireless advocacy for youth which surely contributed to the recent decision to establish a new UN youth office. 

Please engage on the new Youth4Climate platform and apply for the Call for Solutions.  

The whole team looks forward to staying in touch. 

Thank you.  

For more information: 

Join Youth4Climate Engagement platform at