World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Brittany Trilford addresses world leaders at Rio+20 opening

Brittany Trilford has her Date with History, addresses world leaders at opening of Rio+20 Earth Summit

Seventeen-year-old Brittany Trilford, a student from Wellington, New Zealand, addressed Heads of State gathered in Rio de Janeiro at the opening of the Summit UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called “one of the most important conferences in the history of the United Nations and a once-in-a-generation opportunity to gear the world on sustainable development path.”

The Summit was opened by the Secretary-General at 10h00 local Rio time, in the wake of six months of negotiations that have resulted in weak and disappointing text for Leaders to consider at the conference. First on the agenda was a film entitled “The State of the Planet”, following which Brittany was called to the podium to deliver her address as an ordinary citizen, a voice of youth, demanding action on sustainability.

During the opening of her three minute address Brittany told leaders, “I stand here with fire in my heart. I’m confused and angry at the state of the world. We are here to solve the problems that we have caused as a collective, to ensure that we have a future.”

In the hope that the high level Summit will make more ambitious commitments than the negotiated text calls for, Brittany said, “We, the next generation, demand change. We demand action so that we have a future and have it guaranteed. We trust that you will, in the next 72 hours, put our interests ahead of all other interests and boldly do the right thing.”

She challenged leaders to strive for solutions that will inspire hope around the world. “I am here to fight for my future. That is why I’m here. I would like to end by asking you to consider why you are here and what you can do here. I would like you to ask yourselves: Are you here to save face? Or are you here to save us?”

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

In addition to addressing world leaders, Brittany has already silenced large gatherings of decision makers, including over 300 legislators here in Rio from around the world at the first Global Legislators Forum on June 16 and over 1,000 business leaders at the closing plenary of the Corporate Sustainability Forum on June 17. She will participate in a panel discussion on June 21 at the Global Town Hall and will ring the Peace Bell that same day at the Federation of World Peace and Love with Severn Suzuki, known as “the girl who silenced the world” since addressing leaders in a similar way at the 1992 Earth Summit.

Kelly Rigg, Executive Director of Global Campaign for Climate Action, organizers of the contest says “With youth accounting for 3 billion of the world’s population, it is critical that young people from all walks of life are engaged in influencing global decision-making on sustainability now – they will live with the building blocks or the broken promises, depending on the choices leaders make.”

--

Transcript of Brittany Trilford’s speech at the opening of the UN Rio+20 Earth Summit

Tena Koutou from New Zealand. My name is Brittany Trilford. I am seventeen years old, a child. Today, in this moment, I am all children, your children, the world’s three billion children. Think of me for these short minutes as half the world.

I stand here with fire in my heart. I’m confused and angry at the state of the world and I want us to work together now to change this. We are here to solve the problems that we have caused as a collective, to ensure that we have a future.

You and your governments have promised to reduce poverty and sustain our environment. You have already promised to combat climate change, ensure clean water and food security. Multi-national corporations have already pledged to respect the environment, green their production, compensate for their pollution. These promises have been made and yet, still, our future is in danger.

We are all aware that time is ticking and is quickly running out. You have 72 hours to decide the fate of your children, my children, my children’s children. And I start the clock now… tck tck tck.

Let us think back to twenty years ago – well before I was even an inkling in my parents’ eyes – back to here, to Rio, where people met at the first Earth Summit in 1992. People at this Summit knew there needed to be change. All of our systems were failing and collapsing around us. These people came together to acknowledge these challenges to work for something better, commit to something better.

They made great promises, promises that, when I read them, still leave me feeling hopeful. These promises are left – not broken, but empty. How can that be? When all around us is the knowledge that offers us solutions. Nature as a design tool offers insight into systems that are whole, complete, that give life, create value, allow progress, transformation, change.

We, the next generation, demand change. We demand action so that we have a future and have it guaranteed. We trust that you will, in the next 72 hours, put our interests ahead of all other interests and boldly do the right thing. Please, lead. I want leaders who lead.

I am here to fight for my future. That is why I’m here. I would like to end by asking you to consider why you’re here and what you can do. Are you here to save face? Or are you here to save us?

ENDS

Earlier: Brittany Trilford addresses the UN Global Compact Corporate Sustainabiity Forum


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Israeli Soldier Kills PA Minister At Non-Violent Protest

Yesterday, an Israeli soldier killed Palestinian Authority (PA) Settlment minister, Ziad Abu Ein, at a non-violent demonstration in the village of Turmusaya. More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Ban on Palestinians claiming compensation against military
  • Pakistan School Killings

    GENEVA (16 December 2014) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday condemned what he described as “an utterly despicable and incomprehensibly vicious attack on defenceless children” at a co-educational school ... More>>

    ALSO:


    Sobering Data On American's Apathy About CIA Torture

    Despite a scathing report on torture, a majority of survey respondents approve of the CIA's grisly methods. More>>

    Sea Shepherd Intercepts Toothfish Poachers

    Yesterday, at approximately 2152 AEDT, the Sea Shepherd conservation ship, Bob Barker, intercepted the illegal fishing vessel Thunder, at 62 15’ South, 81 24’ East, inside the CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) ... More>>

    The White House: Charting A New Course On Cuba

    We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba. More>>

    ALSO:


    Journalist Most Recent Victim Of Israeli Military

    Bashar, a journalist from Palestine TV, was shot in the left leg at Kufr Qaddum on Friday the 5th of December 2014. More>>

    ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Swiss government’s bid to convene a summit on Palestine
  • UN News - UN-backed reconstruction efforts continue in Gaza
  • UNICEF Mobilizes To Reach People Affected By Typhoon

    As Typhoon Hagupit wreaks havoc through the Philippines, UNICEF is acting quickly to support the Filipino government’s response to the emergency, providing lifesaving supplies and services for children and women in the areas hardest hit by cyclone-force ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • FAO - FAO praises government for early typhoon warnings
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news