Stories from the UN Archive: A seminal moment for youth climate action


“What you do makes me cry at night,” 13-year-old Severn Cullis-Suzuki told the 1992 Earth Summit in Brazil in a message that resonates today as the world grapples with climate change.

Ahead of Zero Waste Day, marked annually on 30 March since 2022, we looked back at how that simple but heart-rending statement, a child’s plea to protect the East, echoed across the world.

Long before activist Greta Thunberg launched the global Fridays for Future school strike movement in 2018, Ms. Cullis-Suzuki’s speech woke up the world and inspired generations of young activists.

On #ThrowbackThursday, UN News is showcasing pivotal moments across the UN’s past. From the infamous and nearly-forgotten to world leaders and global superstars, stay tuned for a taste of the UN Audiovisual Library’s 49,400 hours of video recordings and 18,000 hours of audio chronicling.

Visit UN Video’s Stories from the UN Archive playlist here and our accompanying series here. Join us next Thursday for another dive into history.

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