Canadian youth urged to be global citizens

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking at the University of Calgary, Canada. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

Raise your voice. Build trust in your community. Help the UN build peace in the world.

That was the message UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered to students and faculty at the University of Calgary in Canada on Friday.

Mr Ban also announced that the UN will be naming 17 young leaders on sustainable development who will be brought to its Headquarters in September.

Dianne Penn reports on his speech, which also marked the observation of International Youth Day.

The Secretary-General's speech was titled "a call to youth."

It covered three main areas: sustainable development, youth unemployment and peace.

Mr Ban told his audience that they can become leaders in the global effort to build a more just and equitable world through the Sustainable Development Goals, the SDGs.

To address youth unemployment, he encouraged the students to not only seek jobs but to create them.

Regarding the challenge of peace, the Secretary-General expressed outrage over the millions of youth affected by conflict.

And despite the fact that violent extremists prey on young people, he pointed out that the majority of the world's youth want peace.

Mr Ban said: "We need you to help generate change. Raise your voices. Prove that youth are not a liability – they are an opportunity. Build trust in your communities. Help the United Nations build peace in our world."

Quoting the university's motto—"I will lift up my eyes"—the UN chief encouraged his audience to see the potential for a just, peaceful and prosperous world.

That way, they could help create a better future for all people.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.


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