BrandArena: Developing Lens: United Nations and Canon Europe Amplify Youth Delegates from Least Developed Countries

Monday 6 March 2023

Developing Lens: United Nations and Canon Europe Amplify Youth Delegates from Least Developed Countries

Attendees of the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) taking place from 5th to 9th March will focus on the Doha Programme of Action: an ambitious 10-year action plan to get the world’s most vulnerable countries back on track after the most recent devastating events and ongoing global challenges, and accelerating towards realizing the global vision for sustainable development expressed by the Sustainable Development Goals.

In a bid to ensure that young people are represented in this important conference, youth delegates from across the world’s Least Developed Countries are capturing images of their lives and communities to raise awareness of World Leaders joining the Conference on what it is like to be young in the world’s LDCs.

This comes as part of the collaboration between Canon Europe and the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) to ensure that a selection of youth delegates from across the 46 LDCs are present in the ten-year action plan.

Canon will run a special edition of the Canon Young People Programme (YPP) at the LDC5 conference. YPP has seen Canon teach over 6,750  participants from 27 different countries about the importance of communicating around the SDGs. In the lead up to the three part workshop, Canon has sent Canon EOS 4000D cameras and lenses to over thirty Youth Delegates ahead of LDC5 in Doha in March to help them document their lives and the situation in their local communities. The young delegates’ stories and films will be featured in the UN HQ exhibition as well as promotional material for the conference.

“We all see the world through a unique lens based on our lived experiences—similarly, youth see the future through lenses less inhibited by past outcomes. Their perspectives are important to ground our current reality, to understand their potential and goals for their communities.” said Rabab Fatima, UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries. 

Canon representatives will also be present at LDC5 to provide a series of educational storytelling workshops and discuss the important role of imaging in advocacy. The LDC5 edition of the YPP will feature Canon Ambassador Jérôme Gence and Michel Lunanga, Youth Representative from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and mentor and teacher for the YPP, who advocates for social justice in DRC by developing and promoting a more representative range of voices and perspectives in photography.

Michel explains, "Art and technology are powerful tools that can promote solutions to global challenges such as human rights protections, gender equality, education, and supporting disadvantaged and marginalized groups, which can lead to sustainable and critically endogenous development."

The workshops will highlight the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how visual storytelling can be used to inspire action toward fulfilling them. The Youth Delegates in attendance will develop their visual storytelling skills and create narratives around their images demonstrating the changes they would like to see in the world. Following the workshops delegates will share photographs with accompanying messages to express the changes they want to see happen in the world over the next ten years based on what they learn about communication.

‘During LDC5, Canon will also collaborate with the UN SDG Action Campaign team on a number of side events, with speakers including Jeanine El Moughrabi, Canon Sustainability Manager Middle East and Africa, who will join UN Secretary General's Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change Nisreen Abdelrahman Hassan Elsaim and Marina Ponti, Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign, in coming together to discuss key priorities and creative ways to inspire and mobilize action for the SDGs.’

Adam Pensotti, Head of Canon Young People Programme and EMEA Social initiatives, said “Inspired by of our corporate philosophy of kyosei – living and working together for the common good – we’re working to support young people across the world to tell stories they think will support the UN ambition of achieving Sustainable Development. Through LDC5 and our support of the Youth Delegates from around the world, we are helping  to make their voices heard with 1:1 tuition and creative storytelling workshops.”

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