United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Children & Youth

As youth, we are deeply concerned about our common future and what kind of world we will have to
live in. Therefore, next year it is crucial that we forge a strong, ambitious, effective and enforceable
Framework on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns. We started in Johannesburg and
Marakkesh, but given the constantly deteriorating social and environmental trends, we need it now
more than ever.
The framework acknowledges that states can't address by themselves the whole range of issues as a
consequence of our current production and consumption patterns. Only when all three key actors -
states, companies and citizens - acknowledge and fulfil their common but differentiated
responsibility, we can truly address the challenges at hand. Therefore, a new approach is needed,
which complements the states-centered approach with the inclusion of citizens and businesses. In
this holistic approach, States must provide an enabling and inspiring frame, which integrates the
social and environmental costs into prices, to attain a greener, fairer and more inclusive economy.
Old and new enterprises must develop sustainable business models. And we as citizens must take our
share of the responsibility and make informed and ethical consumer choices and provide the
necessary pressure.
In that regard, we, as young people, do not only attend conferences, but our generation is also
already taking concrete steps forward. As the next generation, it is crucial that we are frontrunners
and early adopters. In addition to thinking globally and acting locally, our generation also has to act
globally and think locally. Education and awareness-raising are crucial, and we have to take lessons
from the ongoing Decade for Education for Sustainable Development. Integration of sustainable
consumption as a cross-cutting issue in school curricula is a start. But this has to be complemented
by the political recognition of non-formal education, of which youth organisations are key providers.
Only by building bridges between formal, non-formal and informal learning-methods, we can
develop a true shift of values and behaviour.
The Framework should provide an enabling environment for our actions, as youth, as civil society, as
enterprises and as states. There has been some reticence and avoidance of this project, even here at
this Commission. We know this is a complicated and often informal exercise, but it is paramount to
keep in mind the ultimate objectives of what we want to achieve, and when and how we want to
accomplish them. Thus we need goals, benchmarks, a mid-term review, but also political and
institutional effectiveness, and - as time is not on our side - we urgently need it by next year. We
need an open, transparent and multi-stakeholder approach, which includes all these actors. And in
order to build - both local as global - ownership, it is crucial that we adopt a rights-based approach
for participation that is complemented with the necessary institutional support and partnerships. Both
global and local, the involvement of civil society and especially youth organisations in the decision
making process will make the implementation faster, cheaper and more effective.
Again, only together can we make this a successful "Decade of Sustainable Consumption and
Production Patterns".