Addressing a youth forum in Bali, Indonesia, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the role of young people in building a peaceful, sustainable future and encouraged them to be solid global citizens and leaders of today.
“The United Nations is doing everything possible to encourage a global mobilization of youth,” Mr. Ban said in his remarks to the closing ceremony of the Youth Event organized by the Government of Indonesia and the Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).
“We know that we cannot succeed in our ambitious goal to build a peaceful, sustainable future without young leaders.”
He went on to say: “Some people say youth are leaders of tomorrow. But I look at you and see leaders of today.”
Young people are concerned about issues such as decent jobs, human rights and a clean environment, Mr. Ban noted. “We hear these concerns. We are resolved to respond.”
The Secretary-General reminded participants that they are part of the largest generation of youth in history.
“You have unprecedented powers to network. You are connecting about issues that matter in our world today. Injustice. Discrimination. Human rights abuses. And our collective responsibility to end the discourse of hate and foster human solidarity.”
On Friday, Mr. Ban will address the 6th Global Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations which brings together government officials, business representatives, faith leaders, media professionals and young people from around the world to exchange ideas about advancing mutual interests across religions and cultures.
While in Bali, he met today with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. They discussed the recent elections in Indonesia, the situation in the Middle East, Myanmar and Iraq, as well as the partnership between the UN and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).