The Bulgarian government and UNICEF brought European countries together at COP28

08 Dec, 2023 | 14:17
  • A number of countries from Europe and Central Asia to join the Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action
  • Minister Julian Popov announced that he will submit the Declaration to the agenda for the Environment Ministers of the Council of the European Union


The Minister of Environment and Water Julian Popov and UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Kitty van der Heijden hosted a high-level event at the Bulgarian pavilion at COP28, whereby a number of countries from Europe and Central Asia declared their intentions to pursue child- and youth-centred and youth-friendly climate policies and actions.

"The Bulgarian government is strongly committed to the implementation of the Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action. What I discussed with my colleagues is the importance of science in education. Today I can promise that I will put the Declaration on the agenda for discussion at the next meeting of Environment Ministers in the Council of the European Union," said Minister Julian Popov.

Young people and government leaders from Europe and Central Asia participated in the discussion on "Children, Youth and Climate Action" organized by UNICEF Bulgaria and the Government of Bulgaria. The UNICEF Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action was discussed, which constitutes an unprecedented commitment to accelerate inclusive and child- and youth-centred climate policies and action at national and global levels. Bulgaria is among the first countries in the region to sign the Declaration.

During the event, German State Minister for Europe and Climate Anna Luehrmann and Ukraine's Deputy Minister for European Integration Yevgeny Fedorenko announced that Germany and Ukraine would also sign the Declaration. They will thus join more than 40 countries around the world, including Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Sweden, Spain, and Uzbekistan.

"The addition of new countries to the list of signatories to the Declaration is a crucial first step. We now call on governments to start putting the commitments into practice as well. We at UNICEF will support countries in this process. My appeal today is to those that have signed the Declaration - turn your intentions into action, and to the ones that are still hesitating to sign, do so," urged Kitty van der Heijden, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director.

During the discussion, measures and good practices were shared by Dubravka Šuica, Commissioner for Democracy and Demography and Vice-President of the European Commission, Zakia Khattabi, Minister of Environment of Belgium, young people from Albania, Bulgaria, Spain, Romania, and Turkey, and Anne Skelton, Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.