Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Headquarters, 17 May 2012
I am a person who likes to go for broke. Unfortunately, I broke my hand last weekend playing soccer.
But nothing could stop me from being here today. I’ve been looking forward to meeting with all of you. I wanted to do something different so I took to Twitter and asked young people around the world what they wanted to hear about. The response was amazing.
The title of my speech today is “Youth of the World: Make Some Noise!” Can I hear some noise from you?
I am speaking to you and everyone watching by webcast … to all the youth who sent us messages … and to all people, young and old, who are ready to make some noise for our planet and its future.
There are two trends at work here.
First: Young people are taking the global stage as never before.
Second: Social networks are shrinking our planet.
I call you “Generation UN”. You are global … you understand our common bonds … and you know how to network.
I am not going to give you a big speech full of rhetoric about stopping poverty and saving our planet. You already understand the problems of our world. And I can see you have the energy to fix them.
I don’t need to inspire you – you already inspire me.
I hope you saw my message on Twitter for this meeting.
In about 20 languages, I asked youth around the world to tell me the future you want.
Here is what I heard:
Aaron from Canada wants “a world with equality, social justice, and liberty for all.”
Caroline from Uganda wants “a United Nations with authentic youth participation and engagement.”
Sebastian from Ecuador, who is visually impaired, asks for a world with “the same opportunities for all people’s needs, special or not.”
Tumisang from South Africa wants a future where “all African children have access to quality education, regardless of their parents’ economic background.”
Yovan from Bosnia and Herzegovina wants “a healthy and safe environment without discrimination towards LGBT people.”
Aisha from Nigeria says we should “light the world” with energy.
Emma from Australia wants “everyone in the world