Secretary-General urges youth to use their energy and ideas to create a better worldListen /
Young people have a major role to play in ensuring a sustainable future for all, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a video message to the 12th global Youth Assembly taking place at the UN on Wednesday.
Mr. Ban said the clock is ticking on the 2015 deadline to achieve the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and much remains to be done.
At the same time, he added, countries are working hard on a blueprint for a post 2015-development agenda that will meet the needs of the people and the planet.
"World leaders are responsible to ensure your sustainable future. But you have a major role to play. Demand accountability. Exercise influence as consumers and commentators. Provide momentum through your ideas and energy. Last month we were all inspired by Malala Yousafzai, at the Youth Takeover at the UN. Let us follow her example to stand for what is right and act on our convictions. When we work together we can create the future we want."
Malala is the 16 old girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating for girls' education in her native Pakistan.
Mr. Ban pointed out that this generation of young people is the largest the world has ever known and their challenges are many, including jobs, social justice and environmental sustainability.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.