07 Jun 2017 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 07 JUN (NAMPA) - Seventy high school students from across the country gathered in the capital Wednesday to debate green economic and emergency response coordination to natural disasters and other shocks.
The discussions are in line with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), a global agenda of action aimed at eradicating poverty, saving the planet and ensuring prosperity for all by 2030.
The debate is the sixth annual Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) High School Conference in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) Namibia.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, UN Resident Coordinator, Anita Kiki Gbeho challenged the students to find innovative, realistic and progressive solutions to ending poverty and ensuring prosperity for all by 2030.
She pointed out that by 2050, the world will need to produce twice as much food as was produced in the year 2000, but with the same amount of land and using less water.
On Namibia, Gbeho said the country was no stranger to disasters as it is known to be one of the driest countries in the world with a disaster-prone climate.
She said it was important therefore to engage the Namibian youth, who make up 60 per cent of the population, to find solutions to the current challenges.
We must mitigate the causes of climate change and ensure that communities are resilient to its impact, said Gbeho.
She praised Namibia for having begun to take action, with support from the UN system, to implement clear policy directives, which include mainstreaming climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and food and livelihood security.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp also spoke at the event and highlighted that sustainability rests on getting the economy right.
I am convinced the experience you will gain will heighten your global awareness. I am excited to see every Namibian child present here today emerge as a global citizen, said Steenkamp.
She said Namibia was aiming at not having unfinished education issues beyond 2030, the deadline for achieving SDGs, which will coincide with Namibias realisation of Vision 2030.
Her remarks were in reference to Namibias achievements of Millennium Development Goal Two on Universal Education, in which the country attained 99.6 per cent.
The students will write articles on outcome solutions from the debates which will be submitted to the UN headquarters.