Ban urges Youth to let their voices drown out those that preach division and hatred

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses youth event at the Fifth Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, in Vienna, Austria. Photo: UNIS Vienna

The world will rely on you to speak the language of tolerance and respect, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a gathering of youth at the 5th Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations taking place in Vienna.

He said their voices need to drown out those that preach division and hatred, noting that the world will rely on their courage and principled actions to lead us on the path of harmony and sustainable development.

And, the Secretary-General stressed that working with young people is a top priority for the UN system, as part of the five-year action agenda for his second mandate.

“We want to learn from you and be inspired by you. And we want to work with you to enhance your lives, the well-being of your communities, and the state of the world. Together we can help build a more prosperous, equitable and peaceful future. But we need you. So I am here today to ask you to help to show us the way. The world is going through a period of transition – economic, demographic, political and environmental. The challenges are profound, but so are the opportunities – provided we are able to turn our backs on extremism and divisiveness. Conflict is one of the greatest obstacles to development.”

Secretary-General Ban said "We must aim to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger and improve the well-being of people and the planet".

He told the young people their contribution, energy, idealism and action are needed, adding that "We can achieve these goals if we work together in harmony".

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’36″

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