"A Small Voice Carrying a
Large Burden: While speaking at the Indigneous People's Earth Parliament,
12-year-old Canadian activist Severn Suzuki held the audience in
awe with her eloquent and articulate description of the planet's
ailments. Among those in attendance was UNICEF director James P.
Grant, who told Suzuki that he was going to give a transcript of
her speech to Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney when he arrived
in Rio to sign the documents. Grant did more than that: he brought
Suzuki to the attention of UNCED Secretary-General Maurice Strong,
telling him that the young lady had a message that the world needed
to hear, and asking him to make room for her in the UNCED Plenary
proceedings....What resulted was what Senator Al Gore called "The
best speech of the Rio Conference." July 1992: Toronto Star
columnist Michele Landsberg, wife of Stephen Lewis, Canadian Ambassador
to the United Nations.
"If children could be made leaders in environmental programs,
Severn would surely be among them. She makes more sense than most
adults who engage in small talk and do nothing. Severn, like many
children her age are doers and that means a lot when it comes to
the environment. At age 5, she fought for the Indians in British
Columbia to protect them from logging interests. At age 10, she
founded the Environmental Children's Organization which participated
in the Earth Summit and brought the house down with her impassioned
speech." - The United Nations Environment Programme, Information
and Public Affairs Branch, Nairobi. May, 1993.
"I truly feel that you can make adults listen and inspire
other youth to speak out and act."
- Paul Boin, Editor, Ecolutions Magazine, September 1996.
"I feel I am doing well in my effort, Severn. That was your
speech at the Rio Earth Summit which initiated me to struggle for
a better environment all my life. I hope I can get an invaluable
knowledge from your experience. And I have started the journey now."
-Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.