The wisdom, experience, energy and ideals of the old and the young are vital to realizing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said today, stressing that they together can help break the cycles of poverty that have lasted for generations.
“The youth and the older persons in this room have wisdom, experience, energy and ideals,” the UN chief said in his video message to a special event at UN Headquarters, “Intergenerational Dialogues on the Sustainable Development Goals,” which was also addressed by his newly-appointed Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, and the President of the General Assembly, Peter Thomson.
“Together, you can help break cycles of poverty that have lasted for generations – and trigger transformational change that endures for generations to come,” Mr. Guterres stressed.
The event aimed to raise awareness of the valuable role youth and the elderly can play together in implementing the SDGs – ambitious and all-encompassing development targets agreed by more than 190 countries nearly two years ago to ensure growth and protect the people and planet.
Mr. Thomson, now in his late-60s, talked about his own youth growing up in the Pacific island of Fiji, before mountains of plastic waste and ocean-warming had begun to threaten its very existence.
He said he was determined to use his experience in order to speak out on behalf of the SDGs for many years to come.
“We are going to ensure that all people, young and old, recognize themselves as the owners, drivers and beneficiaries of the SDGs