Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

International Youth Day 2015
Youth Civic Engagement

Mr. Secretary-General,
H.E. Ambassador Oh Joon, President of ECOSOC,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Distinguished guests,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the United Nations and the 2015 commemoration of International Youth Day. I would like to welcome Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to today’s event. I know that the Secretary-General will have to leave at the end of the opening session, so we thank him very much for his time.

I would also like to extend a warm welcome to His Excellency Ambassador Oh Joon, President of ECOSOC.

This year’s International Youth Day is dedicated to the theme “Youth Civic Engagement”.

Through civic engagement young people contribute to the wellbeing of communities, nations and the world. From volunteerism to online activism, from political participation to peacebuilding, and development through sports, young people are engaging in important and innovative ways.

Young people’s engagement is essential to realizing sustainable development and to boosting social transformation. We need active, engaged youth to achieve the future we want-together.

As we near the launch of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we must work to promote the empowerment of young people and their full participation in society. We must remove the barriers to engagement that many young people face, particularly young women and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The commemoration of this year’s youth day will give visibility to the creative ways youth are overcoming these barriers at the local, national and global levels. Two distinguished panels of guests will talk in-depth about these issues.