|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
‘When We Build a Culture of Tolerance and Understanding, We Build a Better World,’
Says Secretary-General in Video Message to Global Model United Nations
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the Global Model United Nations, in Kuala Lumpur, 14 August:
Mr. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Dear young friends,
I am pleased to welcome you to the second Global Model UN Conference organized by the United Nations.
Recent global crises show the wisdom of this year’s theme — “Towards an Alliance of Civilizations: Building Bridges to Achieve Peace and Development”.
People around the world are connected as never before.
In the face of pandemics, economic turmoil or climate change, it is plain that we sink or swim together.
Yet, too often we respond with fear, suspicion or even hatred.
We must break these ancient habits. We need to forge a new way of relating to each other — as individuals, countries and societies.
This is not a feel-good exercise. When we build a culture of tolerance and understanding, we build a better world.
A world of justice and human rights for all.
A world where there is no room for extremism.
A world where girls can grow up free of abuse, where women are treated with the respect and dignity that is their right.
A world where poverty is not acceptable.
You can make this your world.
By participating in the Global Model UN, you are showing the way.
And by simulating a General Assembly summit, you are getting a real taste of diplomacy and international negotiation.
Just two days ago, we launched the International Year of Youth.
It is often said that young people are the leaders of tomorrow. But you are already leaders.
Your ideas, your actions, your decisions make a difference.
And — more than any other generation before — you have a voice. I urge you to use your voices for the common good — for a true alliance of civilizations.
I wish you a most successful and enjoyable conference.
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