The Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change provides him with practical and outcome-focused advice, diverse youth perspectives and concrete recommendations, with a clear focus on accelerating the implementation of his climate action agenda.
Convened under the auspices of the United Nations first-ever system-wide youth strategy, Youth2030, and the Our Common Agenda, the Youth Advisory Group serves as a mechanism for the Secretary-General to hear directly from young people, as the organization works to accelerate global climate action, and drive forward all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The new cohort of the Youth Advisory Group started its two-year term on 16 March 2023. Its members were selected and appointed by the Secretary-General from a pool of candidates nominated by respected youth- and climate-focused non-governmental and civil society organizations around the world.
Please see criteria for the selection here.
“Climate change is the fight of our lives – and young people have been on the frontlines leading the charge for climate justice.”António Guterres, Secretary-General
Ayisha Siddiqa (United States) is a Pakistani- American human rights and tribal land defender. She is the Co-founder of Polluters Out and Fossil Free University. Her work focuses on uplifting the rights of marginalized communities while holding polluting companies accountable at the international level. She is currently a research scholar at NYU School of Law, university working to bridge the environmental and human rights sector with the youth climate movement. Ayisha was recently named a Time magazine Woman of the Year.
Beniamin Strzelecki (Poland) is a climate action and energy transition advocate. He coordinated a global network of youth-led energy organizations and worked with intergovernmental entities, including the International Renewable Energy Agency, Sustainable Energy for All, and the UN Industrial Development Organization to create opportunities for young people in the energy transition field. As a researcher, Beniamin worked on the economics of renewable power generation deployment at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the German Institute for Economic Research. He currently co-chairs the Student Energy Summit 2023 and continues his studies at New York University Abu Dhabi.
Fatou Jeng (The Gambia) is dedicated to grassroots, national, and international mobilization as a climate educator, frontline activist, and campaigner. Fatou founded Clean Earth Gambia in 2017, a youth-led, local climate organization that has mobilized thousands of Gambian young people to help marginalized and vulnerable communities build resilience to climate change. She has served as Co-lead for the YOUNGO women and gender working group and is also a member of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) where she supports the implementation of the network’s projects. Fatou holds a Master’s degree in Environment, Development, and Policy from the University of Sussex. She is also a gender climate negotiator for The Gambia to the UNFCCC and was recognized as TOP 100 Young African Conservation Leader by WWF in 2022.
Jevanic Henry (Saint Lucia) is a climate and development professional and advocate. He previously served as Climate Change Special Envoy for the Caribbean Youth Environment Network and was a United Nations Foundation’s Next Generation Fellow. Jevanic worked as a Foreign Service Officer with the Government of Saint Lucia, as well as with the climate change unit of the Commonwealth Secretariat and co-authored a practical guide on enhancing access to climate finance. He is currently an Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Fellow, assigned to the Permanent Mission of Saint Lucia to the United Nations in New York.
Josefa Tauli (Philippines) is an Ibaloi-Kankanaey Igorot indigenous youth activist. She is Policy Co-coordinator of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN), which serves as the youth constituency to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). An advocate for meaningful youth participation, human rights, and Indigenous Peoples’ rights and knowledge, she has coordinated the engagement of youth delegations to more than 10 rounds of CBD negotiations during the development of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. She is also the Advocacy Officer of Partners for Indigenous Knowledge Philippines (PIKP), a learning network of organizations and individuals with initiatives on promoting and strengthening Indigenous knowledge.
Joice Mendez (Colombia/Paraguay) is a migrant, social entrepreneur, and climate advocate focused on the nexus of water, food and energy justice. Joice co-founded several local and regional youth organizations, including the Moema Viezzer Environmental Education Observatory, the Latin American Observatory of Geopolitics of Energy, and the binational Youth Collective of the Parana Basin 3 from the Cultivating Good Water Initiative– a recipient of the UN-Water Best Practice Award in 2015. Joice has also supported Paraguay’s National Conference of Youth since 2016 and the National Forum of Water and Youth, and continues to be active in YOUNGO, the Climate Reality Project América Latina, SDG7 Youth Constituency, and the Youth Adaptation Network of the Global Center on Adaptation.
Saoirse Exton (Ireland) is a climate justice activist with Fridays for Future. As a proud Gaeilgeoir (Irish-language speaker), Saoirse believes that the wealth of knowledge held in traditional languages and storytelling can re-establish the vital concept of Earth as sacred within capitalism imposed mindsets. In 2021, she was one of 100 inaugural winners of the Rise, an initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, for her work researching and rewriting Irish mythology from different perspectives, including bringing women and queer characters to the foreground.
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