LWF youth at the UN: Sustainable development!

Jenny & Petter at CSD

– By Jenny Skumsnes Moe, Norway

The CSD, The Matrix, and the future. It might sound like a script for a new futuristic movie, but it is actually quite real. This year the 16th CSD, that is Commission on Sustainable Development, took place in the basement of the UN building. This year was also the first year that LWF sent youth delegates to participate, and from Norway came Petter N. Dille and Jenny Skumsnes Moe. Christine from Kenya, an LWF intern, also participated, and we all joined in on the Youth Caucus – one of nine major groups present on the Commission to bring forward the voice from children and youth of the world. We were about 40 youth gathered there for morning meetings from 08 AM to organize the writing of statements etc, and during the day we were easily recognized by our youth caucus stickers. It was great meeting the other participants, many who had lots of experience from previous CSDs.

This was a review year, going over case studies (gathered in the Matrix ) to inform and learn from each other basically the state of the world in regards to Sustainable Development, this year dealt with under the following topics: Desertification, rural development, land, agriculture, drought and Africa. Next year will build upon these experiences to lay out policies.

To be there as a youth delegate, it was great to have the Youth Caucus to participate in. Many people commented that this had been the best Youth Caucus in many years, giving passionate statements and lifting up views that other delegates forget – like child labour, and the serious challenge of “brain drain” from the developing countries. The youth caucus were talented, energetic and highly engaged with the topics. It might not be so strange, considering it is our own future we are talking about.

Coming from the LWF, and the Church of Norway it was also a really good experience to be able to see how the UN works in regards to sustainable development. In a way it was a commission on taking care of the creation, and we as churches need to be involved in that work! The churches have an important role in making a sustainable lifestyle a natural choice for our everyday lives. This CSD have made me certain that this is necessary, in particular (coming from Norway) the need to reduce our consumption. A really good field of work I learned about was on sustainable consumption and production.

Outreach was a magazine that was published each day. In one edition, a writer wrote that man`s problem from the beginning was one of over-consumption – when Adam ate the apple. So he said we must see that there is nothing wrong with the garden we live in, it is just that we are over-consuming.

This is one of the major challenges we as Churches have: see the big picture, see that it is all inter-linked, and change our ways and speak up when there is over consumptions in parts of the world, and food crisis in other.

– Jenny Skumsnes Moe


One response to “LWF youth at the UN: Sustainable development!

  1. Thanks a lot, Jenny, for these insights in the working of the CSD. It would be great to hear from you again at the end of the Session what you think would be the next steps for churches and youth groups globally.

    Best wishes from Geneva,


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