Story by Asaba Linda, UNAU
As the world continues to experience the effects of climate change, we cannot claim that these have not affected Uganda as a country. Uganda, being an agricultural economy, has faced very rough times with the unpredictable seasons which continue to affect the citizens economically.
In June 2022, UNA-Uganda participated in the Stockholm +50 conferences in Sweden and as a result, we convened an annual Uganda Model United Nations conference (UMUN) to focus on SDG 13 which is Climate Action. This aimed at ensuring that young people are grounded in creating solutions for the devastating climate effects that the country is facing. It is evident that Uganda is an agricultural economy where women and girls are majorly involved however, this has been affected by climate change effects. This highlighted the different gender roles that can be played in climate change adaptation.
The UMUN was convened in October 2022 under the theme: Gender roles in Climate Change Adaption. The hybrid event held at Kyambogo University brought together over 100 participants from Uganda and other countries. The deliberations focused on the UN Security Council including the different security issues that have grown out of the effects of climate change. Country delegates of the Security Council are diplomatically ready to tackle the climate change problem at hand.
The week-long engagement of activities enabled us to reach a wide range of young people and underscored the need to prioritize positive climate action especially among the young generation. The week involved a number of activities such as university activations, social media engagements, briefing, and preparation sessions for both the officials and the delegates and this was wrapped up by the UMUN that took two days.
During the opening ceremony, Mr. George Muwanguzi, the President of UNAU, encouraged young people to be climate conscious since they are now living with the effects. He called upon the students to engage in climate solutions taking into consideration the different gender roles. The Ag. Dean of Students of Kyambogo University appreciated the model of the United Nations as a steering wheel for young people to take lead in engaging, mobilizing, and finding solutions to alleviate climate change. He urged the use of indigenous knowledge to create a clean and green environment.
To foster learning and sharing of best practices among young people in the area of climate change, we had several young people from Tanzania and Finland who shared their experiences working on climate action. This was a very informative and engaging session for the youth. In a bid to Leave No-One behind, the conference also provided an opportunity for students from Caltec Academy Makerere to exhibit the unique climate solutions and innovations. They also performed a poem related to climate action.
The representative from the Uganda National NGO Forum, Ms. Racheal Damba, highlighted the different areas of the SDGs and encouraged the participants to interest themselves in the issues around Sustainable Development Goals and the National Development Plan (NDP) III.
The UNAU Secretary General, Mr. Baguma Richard, in his closing remarks called upon all youth to make climate action part of their daily life within their communities and among their peers. He concluded by noting that climate change is real and we need to act a fast.