We have been silent for a while since One Young World has ended. Kelsey, Daniel and I have been traveling a little and while my companions are going home, I thought it was a good time to share with you what takeaways I got for myself now that some time has passed.
First of all, I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity given to me to travel as far as Bangkok for the summit. I have never been to Southeast Asia before and it has been absolutely eye-opening for me. We live in the same world and we have so many differences, but there is one absolute fact that makes us one – we’re all human.
I’m sad to see there is so much inequality in the world and I feel very privileged to live the way I do. Poverty, gender gap, human rights, refugee crisis, freedom of speech and climate change, those were the key topics in One Young World. It is difficult to comprehend all the issues the world has coming from a rather peaceful, equal country like Lithuania. It got me thinking that I should be far more thankful for what my country was able to achieve.
Poverty is unfortunately still one of the main issues in the world. There are many ways to attempt solving it such as world’s businesses contributing more of the profit to the people in need. And this is not about giving money. It’s about helping the poor to be a part of the business themselves by creating more jobs or helping to open local businesses. There is progress in the area, but it is far too little to have made impact globally.
Kelsey has already covered the gender gap question. We have had quite heated debate among us whether this still applies to our own countries. Lithuania, for instance, has female President and the head of the Parliament, even in EUROC way more than a half of employees are female (my own department is 92% female). However, in other countries the matter is way worse. Women are expected to stay home, take care of children with no opportunities for school or jobs. This has to change immediately!
From Human Rights perspective, I was astonished to find out that there are estimated 10 million stateless people in the world! That’s like the whole of Greece! Stateless people have no passport, no access to basic healthcare, they are contantly abused, women are raped, beaten. It’s horrible! In Thailand alone there are 600,000 such stateless people. I wish this is talked about more, I cannot imagine how this is still happening in the 21st century.
Refugee crisis happening right now is another hot topic. One thing we have to understand is Muslims are not terrorists. Extremists are. Christianity also has religious fanatics that we tend to forget but we shouldn’t. We have to come together to solve the crisis as soon as possible.
I am very glad Thai authorities ensured freedom of speech during the summit. We have been shown all sides of Thailand that way and as with all countries, there are many issues still unresolved in this country. This was a fantastic platform for the youth of Thailand to speak up about their country and I hope things are going to turn for the better.
One Young World concentrated on climate change a lot. Fact is, it is changing and if we do not act right now, there soon may be no way for us to survive. A delegate speaker from Marshall Islands spoke how he will not have home if we don’t do something as his island country would go underwater forever.
On the bright side, while challenging the world’s problems was the main point of the summit, we got to do fun things too! You’ve already seen the now famous picture of me in a traditional Thai attire.