First Lady Fazna Ahmed participated in the virtual high-level roundtable organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Southeast Asia on the occasion of World Health Day 2022.
The First Lady was the guest of honor at the panel discussion titled “We, the People, and Our Planet: Healthy, Resilient, Sustainable.” She was joined by several high-level speakers representing different countries and organizations.
During the panel, the First Lady highlighted a major global survey of children and young people in relation to climate issues, and noted that a significant majority of young people surveyed believed that swift climate action could help mitigate some of the most catastrophic effects of the current situation. She said that as an educator, she considered it valuable to listen to young people, their ideas, recommendations and fears, as well as to validate their distress over the issues affecting their lives.
First Lady Fazna added that the survey revealed a knowledge gap between different economic classes about what a climate crisis entails, and she said schools were the best platforms to fill this knowledge gap.
She said her time as the former headmistress of Thaajudheen School gave her many insights and taught her a lot about children. As such, she believes that this experience has given her the belief that children and young people have enough knowledge to express their opinions and frame their perspectives of the world, and to contribute meaningfully to the decision-making process.
The First Lady noted that while the study showed that young people were concerned about the climate crisis, they were also optimistic and wanted to contribute more to the cause of tackling the issues.
Furthermore, she stressed the importance of giving children and young people a platform to express their views on issues such as gender equality, environment and climate action, as this is their future which would be affected by the decisions made today. She said that the ambition of young people was much greater and that they were capable of becoming agents of great change, given the opportunity.
In a message to policy makers, Ms Fazna said all the research clearly indicated how much children are thinking about these global challenges, and that long-term planning and implementation were key to securing the future of all children. generations while reducing the burden on children. The First Lady also highlighted the fact that initiatives that started in Maldivian schools, such as reducing single-use plastic in schools, have gone beyond the classroom and into national politics.
In addition, the First Lady also discussed ways to strengthen women’s voice, engagement and leadership at all levels of climate action and advocacy. She said the discussions that take place with women at the political level are more reflective of our society and lead to more sustainable political solutions.
The theme for World Health Day 2022 is “Our Planet, Our Health”. World Health Day is observed annually on April 7 to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948.