“The UN belongs to you, young people of Costa Rica, and to the world,” says the Deputy Secretary General


The Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, stated during a visit to Costa Rica that the United Nations belong to young people and urged States and societies to listen more to them and to guarantee their participation in decisions for the protection of the planet and climate action.

Mohammed spoke with young environmental and climate action activists from all over Costa Rica, as part of his mission to the country, which took place on December 19 and 20.

The young people expressed to Mohammed their concern for the impacts of climate change on the most excluded populations and they assured that it is the youth who are raising their voices and mobilizing more to demand that countries comply with international agreements.

“We must be more ambitious, move faster for the environment and the climate, but we also need the world to recognize, value and give the space young people deserve in climate negotiations”, Highlighted Sara Cognuck, a young Costa Rican environmental leader.

The deputy secretary urged young people to strengthen their organization, identify funding opportunities for their causes and affirm a active political participation, so that their voices and actions reach all corners of the world.

UN Costa Rica / Danilo Mora

The UN Deputy Secretary, Amina Mohammed, visited the Cuajiniquil mangrove in Guanacaste to talk with the women leaders who work to protect it.

Leadership in climate action and recovery

During his stay in Costa Rica, Mohammed met with the president, Carlos Alvarado and the vice president, Epsy Campbell, to identify and promote joint cooperation actions for the protection of the environment as well as the mitigation and adaptation to climate change, in addition to financing for the development that non-industrialized countries require.

The opportunity to strengthen actions to serve the most vulnerable populations, such as Afro-descendants, women, indigenous peoples, migrants, asylum seekers, children and adolescents, among others.

The visit highlighted the country’s commitment to climate action, environmental protection, human rights, social protection and sustainable development.

He also emphasized Costa Rican leadership in mobilizing financing for development for middle-income countries and to achieve debt relief, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During his mission, Mohammed urged all parties to act with urgency and ambition: “We need to go to scale with solutions and overcome the obstacles that lie ahead. The UN is committed to accompanying Costa Rica on this journey to fulfill the promise of the SDGs.”

During the mission, the initiative of Costa Rica’s Fund to Alleviate the COVID-19 Economy (FACE) and other similar efforts to expand fiscal space in Costa Rica and middle-income countries to a green, inclusive and resilient recovery; innovative financing tools, including debt-for-nature swaps and blue and green bonds; align investments in strategic sectors to strengthen future resilience, including social protection and decent jobs in green, caring and digital economies.

The UN vice-secretariat also held various ministerial meetings and spoke with leaders from social areas, public finance, the Central Bank and the private sector to support the country in its efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Costa Rica has taken actions to face climate change and to strengthen the production of clean energy with almost all of its electricity comes from renewable sources. It has also managed to protect its right to biodiversity and reverse deforestation, to the point that today 59% of its territory is covered by forests. Costa Rica is an example to show the region and the world that under no circumstances can we abandon our objectives and agreements on climate and sustainable development, “he said.

UN Costa Rica / Danilo Mora

María Chavarría, a passionate biologist from the Santa Rosa de Guanacaste National Park, explained to the UN Deputy Secretary how the work of the communities is key to environmental protection and the recovery of the forest in the park.

Tour of Costa Rican communities

As part of her mission, the UN Deputy Secretary visited the Las Pailas geothermal plant in Liberia Guanacaste, where she observed the Costa Rica’s progress to ensure a renewable electricity matrix and that currently covers more than 99% of its population.

Visited women community leaders from Cuajiniquil, Guanacaste, who are reclaiming the mangrove as a mechanism for environmental protection, but also to ensure the sustainability of livelihoods for their communities.

He met the 25 de Julio community in Hatillo de San José to dialogue with migrants, refugee applicants and support the efforts of Costa Rica and identify and address the challenges to ensure the rights and inclusion of these important populations.

He also visited the Parque de la Libertad in the community of Desamparados, a space focused on local inclusion and environmental protection, here he held a dialogue with young environmentalists and planted a tree to inaugurate the UN Garden and thus reaffirm his commitment to young people and vulnerable communities in Costa Rica and the world.

The Deputy Secretary finally highlighted the UN’s commitment to jointly organize with Costa Rica the Sustainable Development Forum, next March, which will bring together leaders of the region together with the private sector and civil society to identify pragmatic and innovative responses to accelerate the 2030 Agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Article prepared by Danilo Mora Díaz, communications officer for the UN in Costa Rica.

UN Media contact: Danilo Mora Díaz, Adoption and Communications Officer, United Nations System COSTA RICA [email protected] T. +506 2296-1544 C. +506 8834 3028

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