Youth Statement to the world's leaders

As part of cooperation with Countdown 2010 initiative, in spring 2008 we were asked to write a youth statement to world leaders at G8 meeting in order to express our concern for future of sustainability.


Energy crisis. Resources depleting. Food and Water scarcity. Climate Change and Desertification. Biodiversity loss.

Is this the planet we want? Will it be a planet for us to live in? We, the younger generation, accepted years ago that these challenges we are facing are our responsibility. What is being jeopardised is our future. As a dynamic European youth organisation, we realise that youth has to invest time and effort and address all these crises today, if we want the world to be a safe place tomorrow

Youth is known to have plenty of will and energy, and these tools give us the ability to work tirelessly to overcome the difficulties that arise. All over the world young people are leading the efforts to create a better future for themselves and their communities. We are participating in the development of strategies for a sustainable future and we promote a shift to a new lifestyle, where solidarity, more equality and acting advisedly are the only strategies guaranteeing that we will be able to live all together in this world of 21st century. Moreover, we have established fruitful cooperation with other stakeholders, and some achievements have already been celebrated; but we will not succeed unless we convince ALL the segments of our societies to work as a unique force; all efforts have to point towards the same direction.. To gather all these forces, we need the world leaders to prove that they care for the future, along with the rest of society.

Governments have nowadays all the information they need to start acting. Upon the past years, they have begun committing themselves, sometimes timidly and some other times more clearly, to provide our societies with the necessary adjustments. However, the final step, from promising to acting, is not accomplished yet. We, the younger generation, urge our governments to behave responsibly and invest in a sustainable future; furthermore, we encourage the G8 to lead the way, sending a strong message to the rest of the planet. All you need to do is to put all the means on your reach and make true all the promises stated in international forums and UN meetings, from Rio in 1992  to the Davos forum, from Kyoto and the establishments of the 2010 biodiversity targets to the current G8 meeting in Japan.

It is now or never. Mankind cannot afford to hesitate, seeing the deadline for taking measures pass by. Inaction is the worst mistake. Scientists have determined that the next period is the most critical we have ever faced: every year we lose doubting will translate into decades of countering the consequences of our negligence. Moreover, the delay will increase by several orders of magnitude the economic cost, not to forget the increased destruction of our natural heritage (something difficult to measure in economical parameters, but recognised as highly valuable), and the priceless life of millions of people forced to leave their homelands and become refugees. As sad as it sounds, some of the losses to come are already unavoidable. We cannot let this tragic fact discourage us, but we should use it as a powerful reason to double our efforts, because the most dramatic changes are still reversible. You have to be brave and react positively to give this crisis a solution. You can count on us, the younger generation, to be on your side.

Yours sincerely,



European Students’ Forum


AEGEE is an interdisciplinary European student association represented throughout 228 cities and consisting of around 15 000 students, having active citizenship, cultural exchange, higher education and peace and stability among their core values.