New York

24 September 2016

Secretary-General's message to the 2nd Nigerian Young Professionals Summit

Delivered by Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, United Nations Envoy on Youth

I am pleased to send greetings to this important gathering. I thank the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum for organizing this dynamic event and bringing together some of Nigeria’s brightest young minds. 

You gather at a moment of challenge and opportunity for the human family.  

The United Nations marked its 70th anniversary in 2015 by taking landmark steps to advance sustainable development and combat climate change. 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Goals offer a people-centred and planet-friendly blueprint for development. 

I am confident that Nigeria, as Africa’s most populous country and largest economy, can show the region and the world that it is possible to achieve sustainable development and leave no one behind. 

I well remember my two visits to Nigeria as Secretary-General, especially the vibrancy, intelligence and engagement of its young women and men.

While Governments have the primary responsibility to deliver the SDGs, young people and professionals, like you, should help lead the charge. 

This Nigerian Young Professionals Forum is one of a number of valuable initiatives which share the vision of the United Nations and place young people at the centre of sustainability while encouraging their participation in governance. 

I invite all of you to mobilize and connect with your peers from your country and beyond for the greater good of our world. Your engagement is essential. You have the tools and the power to help steer us towards a more sustainable development future.

In this spirit, I wish you great success at the gathering and in all your future endeavours.