UNITED NATIONS SUMMIT TO MOBILIZE YOUNG LEADERS IN SUPPORT OF MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS, 29 - 31 OCTOBER

26 October 2006
DEV/2597

UNITED NATIONS SUMMIT TO MOBILIZE YOUNG LEADERS IN SUPPORT OF MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS, 29 - 31 OCTOBER

26 October 2006
Press Release
DEV/2597
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

UNITED NATIONS SUMMIT TO MOBILIZE YOUNG LEADERS IN SUPPORT

OF MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS, 29 - 31 OCTOBER

 

NEW YORK, 26 October (UN Office of Sport for Development and Peace) -- Young leaders from around the world will gather at an unprecedented summit at the United Nations in New York from 29 to 31 October to commit themselves to initiatives to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.  The youth delegates will become spokespersons for the Millennium Development Goals in their home countries, creating a global network to encourage young people to get involved in community, national and international activities to accelerate progress in reaching the Goals.

Each of the 192 United Nations Member States will be represented at the United Nations Global Youth Leadership Summit by two delegates -- a young woman and a young man -– and it will be the first time thatmany countries fulfil pledges to include young people and their views in their United Nations representation.  The young leaders will examine their roles in helping their countries and regions reach goals such as reducing extreme poverty, enabling all children to complete primary school and stemming the spread of malaria, HIV/AIDS and other diseases, with sport and culture as entry points.

The youth delegates will open their summit in the General Assembly chamber with an address from United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa of Bahrain.

Leaders from Governments, who previously hosted regional youth summits, are scheduled to participate in an Intergenerational Dialogue with a panel of youth delegates.  They include President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and leaders from Austria, Bahrain, Brazil, Japan and Morocco.

“Young delegates will focus on ways of using their youthful energy and their technological skills to tackle major socio-economic challenges,” said Djibril Diallo, Director of the United Nations New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace.  “These young community leaders have the biggest stake in making progress towards the Millennium Development Goals because attaining the Goals will help create a better world for their generation and those following.  They will employ the ideas, networks and initiatives from their summit brainstorming to help launch a new decade of bold cooperation,” he said.

Organized by the United Nations Office of Sport for Development and Peace on behalf of the United Nations system, the Summit is supported by some of the most successful business leaders and philanthropists worldwide, including Mohan Lal Mittal of the Gita-Mohan Mittal Foundation/Vishwa Prawasi Bhartiya Leaders Forum, Hiroshi Matsumoto of the Inner Trip Reyukai International (ITRI) Foundation and John Gage of Sun Microsystems, who will also take part, and their organizations are providing funding for the event.  The Global Peace Initiative of Women is the non-governmental organization partner for the youth summit series.

The opening will be followed by a panel of United Nations agency heads, as well as a Youth United against Malaria Concert with celebrated singer Youssou N’Dour of Senegal and stars from other regions, in collaboration with the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and with the support of the World Culture Open (WCO).  The delegates will break into groups on Monday to discuss such issues as poverty and job creation; education, gender and maternal health care; and youth and peacebuilding. The event concludes on 31 October with the adoption of a Summit Declaration.

The United Nations Office of Sport for Development and Peace, under the guidance of Adolf Ogi, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, works closely with the ambassador-level Group of Friends of Sport for Development and Peace and an inter-agency Working Group on Sport for Development and Peace to strengthen collaboration on sport-related activities, including outreach to youth and the youth summit series.  The United Nations Inter-Agency Working Group on Young People is assisting with the Summit.

Delegates and the public will also network informally in the “Young Leaders Global Village” at United Nations headquarters, which will open on 28 October.  The Global Village, an interactive, community-focused space, will bring together youth delegates, non-governmental organizations and the public to take part in discussing issues connected with the role of youth in accelerating the successful achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.  It will link young people worldwide through webcasts and other internet services supported by Sun Microsystems, including online forums and digital storytelling organized by Kurriki -- Global Education & Learning Community.

The October summit is the culmination of several regional summits focusing on the United Nations General Assembly’s pledge in September 2000 to raise the living standards of the poor worldwide by 2015.  The undertakings in the Assembly’s Millennium Declaration were summarized in the Millennium Development Goals, and the summits helped young leaders of the best educated generation ever define their own responsibilities to accelerate progress towards achieving the goals.

A team of student journalists, coordinated by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and its partners in the Unity coalition representing 9,000 Hispanic, Asian-American and Native American journalists, will add to the national and international news coverage of the official and unofficial segments through both online and paper publications.

Other partners for the summit include Eurosport, the Maybach Foundation and the International Labour Organization and its Universitas partnership programme.

For more information, contact Richard Leonard, e-mail: richard.leonard@undp.org, tel.:  212 906 5469; Bator Lo, e-mail:  bator.lo@gmail.com, tel.:  212 906 6841; or visit www.un.org/youthsummit.

For information on media accreditation, go to: www.un.org/media/accreditation.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.