September 16 , 2022

Prof. Shahbaz Khan’s address at GYLD China Tour


*At August 13th, Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director of UNESCO Beijing Office gave a video address at GYLD China Tour to Jinan, Zibo, Shandong province.

Distinguished guests, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Distinguished Mr. Wang Huiyao, President of the Center for China and Globalization,

It is an honor for me to address you today on behalf of UNESCO on the occasion of the 2022 Global Young Leaders Dialogue to talk about how youth could create better cities for today and for tomorrow.

I thank the Foreign Affairs Office of Shandong Provincial People’s Government and the Center for China and Globalization (CGG) for your kind invitation and of course, this wonderful effort in organizing this very timely event.

As you might know, the 12th of August was declared by the United Nations as the International Youth Day, so happy International Youth Day.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, there are 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 to 24, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population, a very important force. And we are connected to each other like never before, youth are at the center of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, leaving no one behind.

It is clear that sustainable development and peace cannot be achieved unless we engage with the young people around the world and create the conditions for them to reach and unleash their full potential.

That is why UNESCO places a very important emphasis on engagement with youth is important for building cities that are creative, sustainable and resilient. The UNESCO’s special program Creative Cities Network since 2004 we have been creating hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for creators and professionals especially for sustainable development in the cultural sector, many of them are from the youth to encourage them to fully integrate culture and creativity, science and technology into sustainable development plans.

In China, we have a lot of cultural and historical cities. As an example to bring synergy from UNESCO’s work on Creative Cities and the Youth, the UNESCO Beijing Office collaborated the city of Changsha and Nanjing. And successfully organized the 2021 International Youth Forum on Creativity and Heritage along the Silk Roads: Special Dialogue on Youth Leadership in Creativity, Heritage, and Resilience. More than 80 youths from 46 countries participated to share and exchange their thoughts, stories and actions on youth leadership in innovation and creativity for resilient World Heritage conservation and for resilient and inclusive cities.

Ladies and gentlemen,

UNESCO recognizes the force, creativity, energy, know-how and capacities of young people. I believe today’s event is a good starting point initiated by the Center for China and Globalization to establish it as a solid platform for dialogue and to engage constructively with the youth people to find innovative solutions to create better cities.

We need to bring young people’s collective interests together and to make our cities more sustainable to safeguard their futures, and look to global challenges. We need leadership from you. And I look forward to linking with you and to introduce more people to UNESCO programs and create more partnerships.

Thank you.


*Note: The above text is the output of transcribing from an video recording. It is posted as a reference.

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