Good afternoon, everyone. I am honored to be with you here today at the first ever United Nations Youth Climate Summit. To the hundreds of young leaders who have traveled from across the world to be here— let me reiterate the Secretary-General’s message from this morning— welcome and thank you for being here.
Never before in history has the United Nations offered such a prominent and visible platform to young people at a political summit. Beyond today’s Youth Summit, the Climate Action Summit has featured young people at every step of the way.
This is testament to the fact that your generation is leading on climate action and drawing worldwide attention to the climate emergency in a way that was impossible to imagine just a little over a year ago.
I am pleased to welcome Excellencies Dr. Hilda Heine, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, President Uhuru Kenyatta, of Kenya, Ms. Mary Robinson, Chair of the Elders, and Ms. Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Thank you for joining us for this Intergenerational Town Hall.
To all the young leaders in the room: this is your opportunity to ask direct, unfiltered questions of these world leaders.
Please, don’t be afraid to be blunt and to challenge us. We stand ready to listen to you and to engage with you.
This is the defining issue of our time, and we must work hand-in-hand to tackle it.