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Flash Mob- IYCM Youth Action

December 8, 2009

Today marked the start of the COP15, with all the negotiations and discussions kicking in. Yet even more so for the International Youth Climate Movement group, today marked the first start and success for our youth action in the COP15. Planned by Avaaz Action Factory, the flash mob was aimed to demonstrate against the negotiators with a simple message that survival is non negotiable.

Below is a short video on the entire flash mob event!

Participating in my first ever youth action was super cool. Participating in the first youth action in the landmark COP15 made it even more special. While it did not turn out perfectly  with the countries’ negotiators and delegates coming out later than expected and thus missing out on witnessing the youth action, it still attracted loads of media attention from the various press agencies. Look out for the press coverages over the various agencies in today’s news and hopefully witness the viral effect of our youth action on the negotiation scene!

A question might arise amongst some on the value of such youth action. Indeed, such actions might not be effective as it remains solely up to negotiators to heed these actions by youths and how to respond to them. Also, certain youths are not so spontaneous and willing to step up and thus do not participate actively in youth actions and demontrations. Furthermore, such outright demonstrations might appear rude and disrespectful in certain culture, for instance in the Chinese and Japanese context. Hence, youth actions and demonstrations attract several dissent from some youths on the above grounds.

Yet in my opinion, everyone should play their own individual part, using their strengths and preferences, to influence the process of negotiations. Youths who are not as willing or able to participate spontaneously in actions, be it on grounds of preferences or culture, could channel their efforts into other channels to pressure negotiators through intercession and statements. Youths, on the other hand, who possess a strong belief and interest in actions can go about engaging in their activities as usual.

The power of youth actions is that it allows countries’ negotiators to be strongly influenced by the youth stance, through the message channelled across and also through directly witnessing the fervor and energy that youths possess over their beliefs over climate change. Whether they eventually adopt the youth recommendation is one thing, yet the fact that they actually witness our activism is another thing altogether. The fact that we are recognized as a YOUNGO, as a International Youth Climate Movement, is extremely encouraging, with official permission to stage such a youth action.

More youth actions will follow, on the lead by the Actions working group. Such actions may or may not eventually influence the outcome of the outcome of COP15. But one thing remains true through our youth actions: it is officially recognized, and every action further elevates the IYCM (youths) on the international platform of climate change.

Live from COP15,

Gabriel Teo

ECO Singapore

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