One million people share hopes and fears for future with the UN

UNDP Afghanistan

A health centre in Afghanistan is using renewable energy reducing the reliance on fossil fuels which are contributing to climate change.

3) Climate action

The apparent inability of humankind to slow down the warming of the planet, prevent irreversible climate change and the resulting destruction of the natural environment is the overwhelming medium- and long-term concern of the people who were surveyed. Other long-term concerns include an increase in poverty, government corruption, community violence and unemployment.

A young person from China says everyone is affected by climate change: “Current global climate change as a result of environmental pollution is putting individuals and whole populations at increased risk”.

© UNICEF/Delil Souleiman

The UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF has continued to delivered water to conflict-affected areas of Syria during the pandemic.

4) More UN engagement

Looking to the past, six in ten respondents believe the UN has made the world a better place and 74 per cent say that the UN is “essential” if global challenges are to be effectively tackled. However, over half of all people who answered the survey still don’t know much about the UN and consider it as “remote” from their lives.

Many recommended establishing a youth council to advise senior UN officials and one respondent from Brazil suggested more engagement at a regional and local level: “The UN could act by making greater engagements with regional and local actors, investing in the future by providing means that foster the development of the autonomy of social actors.”

5) Belief in a better future

When it comes to the future, younger participants and those in many developing countries tend to be more optimistic than those who are older or living in developed countries. People in central and southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa tend to be more optimistic than those living in Europe and North America.

“No one is powerless.” says a 17-year-old high school student from Japan.

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