The Girl Who Asked the UN to Save the World


By Ronnie Citron-Fink

12-year-old Severn Suzuki literally brings tears to my eyes when she asks the members of the UN’s Earth Summit:

“Are we even on your list of priorities?”

When Severn was 9, she started the Environmental Children’s Organization (ECO), a small group of children committed to learning and teaching other kids about environmental issues. ECO raised enough money to send Severn, then 12 years old, to the UN’s Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. She proceeded to tell decision-makers how their actions and/or inactions would ultimately affect children. Severn silenced the U.N. She challenges us all when she says:

“You grown-ups say you love us, but I challenge you to make your actions reflect your words.”

As a mother, I’ve devoted my life to my children.

“I am afraid to breathe the air because I don’t know what’s in it.

As a member of the MOMS CLEAN AIR FORCE, I am committed to cleaning up the air, and keeping it clean for my children, your children and our children’s children.

“I’m only a child yet I know we are all part of a family,  five billion strong, in fact, 30 million species strong and we all share the same air, water and soil — borders and governments will never change that.”

As a writer, I write about protecting the environment because I truly believe every living thing depends upon it.

“At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us to behave in the world. You teach us not to fight with others, to work things out, to respect others, to clean up our mess, not to hurt other creatures, to share – not be greedy. Then why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do?”

As a teacher, I devoted my life’s work to a community of children.

“Losing my future is not like losing an election or a few points on the stock market.”

As a citizen, I support and vote for politicians who will protect our children.

Please watch, listen and join me, and thousands of parents who have signed up with the Moms Clean Air ForceWhy? Because we know, deep down in the depths of our mommy souls, We must figure this out for the children.


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Photo credit: TedFink


Ann G.
Ann G6 years ago

WOW! This girl has put into words what I have been thinking for years. With all this fuss over the current crop of 20- and 30-year-olds, people forget that 12-14-year-olds have something to say as well.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Shailja M.
Shailja Mukhtyar6 years ago

From the mouths of children, ... victories may be won!!

Rebecca Smith
Rebecca Smith6 years ago

Amazing, beautiful, and a very clear, simple message we should all take heed of. Thank you for sharing your beautiful speech, Severn Suzuki.

Mandi A.
Amanda A6 years ago

What an amazing kiddo!

jerry coleman
jerry c6 years ago

Wow great kids they may be hope for the world yet.

Alberta Gentleman

Amazing! Thank you for this.

Michael Hester
Michael Hester6 years ago

I know she was born in Canada but I would still vote Severn Suzuki for President of the USA, or any country. President of the World.

nancy r.
Nan R6 years ago

Amazing thanx for sharing.

Naomi M.
Naomi Miskimins6 years ago

Thank you . very wonderful.