Last month, Ayaulym Sarybayeva, a second year EUROSUD student on the Madrid-Marseille track, participated in the 17th UN Climate Change Conference of Youth COY17 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. COY17 is an annual event and was held this year on the sidelines of COP27 from 2-4 November. Thousands of young change-makers from over 140 countries gathered with one main goal; Saving Earth. Ayaulym wrote about her experiences of meeting and working with young people from all over the world to build a better future for everyone below. 

I had the honour to represent Kazakhstan at the 17th UN Youth Conference on Climate Change (COY17), held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, where young people from all over the world came together with one goal – to make the planet a better place for all of us.

Young changemakers from 140 countries were brought together to exchange ideas and share experiences on how they are working on this issue in their countries and communities with the aim of Saving the Earth on Nov. 2-4.

I am truly grateful for this experience of meeting the most active young people from all over the world, participating in workshops where you see different points of view and learn from their experience. I am more motivated than ever to work to engage young people in climate change and raise awareness in my region, and build a better future for everyone.

Young people are the future agents of change and the COY17 conference reinforced the capacity building of young people through round tables and workshops, where we not only learned about varied topics ranging from green economy and waste management, water scarcity, global food security, renewable energy, but also learned from representatives of global organizations on how to effectively engage young people in climate action.

In addition, the conference allowed participants to enter a multinational environment through intercultural exchange, thus creating an open space for the expression of ideas and the exchange of culture. We have seen that the world gets smaller and cozier when we peacefully gather and discuss what is really important for young people who demand action, not promises or words.

The biggest impression of the conference was getting to know like-minded people from all over the world and realizing that you are not alone on the way to solving global problems. We exchanged ideas and discussed possible ways to collaborate for a sustainable future. Personally, I found it really aspiring to learn more about different student and youth organizations for climate action in other countries, where some have built an educational platform and others engaged young people through social media.

Most of all, I appreciate the opportunity to learn from their experiences and offer new ideas for my region of Central Asia and Kazakhstan. As a content creator and digital community builder, I will work to raise awareness among young people from Central Asia by introducing them to important topics, public lectures and materials. I am inspired to act, teach others and engage youth in building a better future for each other.

Alone we can bring a difference, but only together can we change the world.

The text of the youth statement can be found by clicking the link.