Expected to speak tonight at the University of Calgary to mark International Youth Day, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced additional measures aimed at further supporting youth development in the UN context.
Emphasizing the importance of Youth Day not only as an opportunity for celebration but also for making commitments for young people, the Secretary-General announced the formation of an Advisory Group of Experts for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security, as mandated by Security Council resolution 2250 (2015). “The Group is diverse and international but it has the added benefit of including people who have lived the issue at stake. Nearly half of the Group’s members are young. Some of them survived conflict. One lost her father in war. Another was shot. Others were refugees. With the combined expertise of all the members, I expect the report will advance progress” said the Secretary-General.
The Secretary-General also announced the appointment of a Special Envoy for Youth Employment, Mr. Werner Faymann, former Chancellor of Austria, who will work closely with the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the International Labour Organization and the rest of the UN System to respond to the youth unemployment challenge.
Finally, the Secretary-General recalls that the UN will name the first-ever class of 17 young leaders for sustainable development in September, an initiative championed and powered by the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.
“We need you to help generate change. Raise your voices. Prove that youth are not a liability – they are an opportunity. Build trust in your communities. Help the United Nations build peace in our world” the Secretary-General added speaking to the students.
Read the statement as prepared for delivery tonight:
“A Call to Youth: The United Nations and Canada in a Changing World”
Calgary, 12 August 2016
Dr. Dru Marshall, Provost of the University of Calgary,
Distinguished faculty and students,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great honour to be here. Thank you for coming out in summertime.
I have always wanted to visit Calgary. I thought about coming in April to celebrate the last day of classes. The problem is: I look terrible in Bermuda shorts!
Unfortunately, I am too late for the Calgary Stampede.
And I arrived on a Friday morning – so I missed Thursden!
I will have to come back to catch these traditions.
They are fun – but more than that, they show Calgary’s strong sense of community.
Today, I encourage you to see our world as your community.
This morning, I met Mayor Nenshi. We agreed that Calgary has a global mission.
This University is preparing you well.
But education is not something you take – it is something you use to give back to the world.
I am here with a call to help us rise to three global challenges: sustainable development, employment and peace.
And I’m especially pleased to be here today – because August 12th is International Youth Day.
The United Nations and Canada are in sync – especially when it comes to the power of young people to change the world.
I am proud to have appointed the first-ever United Nations Youth Envoy, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the only world leader who is also Minister of Youth.
When we met last February in Ottawa, we agreed that young people can drive change.
This is essential to rising to the first challenge I raise today: to end poverty while protecting our planet.
We have a visionary plan: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This is a pact between governments and people.
Leaders pledged to address poverty, injustice and environmental degradation.
This plan is universal. It covers all people, in all countries.
I applaud Canada for starting to work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
I am particularly encouraged by attention to First Nations peoples. I met a number of their representatives this morning to show my solidarity.
Indigenous peoples around the world are central to addressing global warming.
I hope that all Canadians, including indigenous leaders, can push for ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change by the end of this year.
Shifting to a low-carbon future should not hurt employment.
The leaders of Alberta understand this. Even before the Paris Conference, Alberta announced a climate action plan. And I commend Alberta’s serious steps to significantly reduce or cap greenhouse-gas emissions.
There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This year, the United Nations will name the first-ever class of 17 young leaders for sustainable development. We already have 20,000 nominations,