Amina Mohammed is UN Deputy Secretary-General and former Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She talks about how the new concept of sustainable development as part of the SDGs with a focus on concepts of resilience and adaptation will help to manage the multiple risks that Nigeria is facing. She points out in particular how the younger generation has to play an integral part in building much needed partnerships.
"You know, history was made in 2015, we had a new concept around development, sustainable development. So bringing environment, bringing the economy and the social pillars together and doing it in a way that we collaborate and that we do not silo. We see that a lot of risks that we are facing can be an integral part of the 17 goals. Now these 17 goals, 15 of them are help up on 16 and 17: that is the rule of law and the partnership goal. I think those are very important for us because when we see that in everything that we do that has to be an integral response. When we look at climate change we do not see it as one that needs to deal with the science of it but one that needs to deal with resilience, with adaptation, with what needs to happen to humanity that is at the center of things. And the partnerships do not mean government. We cannot do this alone. So while we look at the foreign policy space which is really cool – nope – we look at civil society, we look at young people, we look at businesses. So all of that for us is very exciting. Out of the ashes they say comes the Phoenix and that is really what this is all about.
I think the comment that we have to make is that there is so much going for young people. They are borderless in the way in which they engage with one another. And I think that we have to take their energy, we have to take their ambitions and their visions and support that, reinforce it. The experiences that people like me have had over the yeas show that there is a light at the end of the tunnel but where is that intergenerational baton changing that has to happen now? I think that this is a really good opportunity. It is a brave new world and let’s embrace it."
This interview was conducted at the Planetary Security Conference in The Hague, 5-6 December 2016.