Message from UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
My name is Jayathma Wickramanayake and I am UN Secretary General Envoy of Youth. I am pleased to join you today, for this global young（youth）leaders dialogue forum.
It is especially encouraging to see so many dynamic young leaders from across the world, who are driving positive changes in their life, workplaces, communities, cities and countries, for this meaningful and unique dialogue on youth leadership in tackling pressing and global challenges.
Congratulations for the organizers for convening this important gathering.
In many ways, we are at an inflection point in the history. The Covid-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call and the climate crisis also looming. As well as the social unrest constantly emerging, the world is experiencing its biggest shared test since the Second World war.
Yet even in these difficult circumstances, young people around the world are taking initiative in envisioning a shared future that works for all.
It is young people like yourselves who are leading us towards the world that we all want by advancing the implementation of the sustainable development goals using your creativity, your salience and your perseverance.
But what is the shared future that we all want?
It is a world that ensures every young person is empowered to achieve their fully potential with the support and resources they deserve.
A world that recognizes young people’s positive contributions as agents of change.
A world in which the human rights of every young person are realized, regardless of their gender, skin color, ethnicity or identity.
A world where everyone’s shoulders their responsibility of building peace, respecting the harmony between human beings and nature, and celebrating the diversity of our human civilizations.
To make this vision a reality in near future, youth today, more than any other generation before, cannot wait for incremental change. That is why online and on the streets, young people are routinely stepping up to advocate for systemic and long term transformational change that disrupts the status quo.
The remarkable aspiration, innovative spirit and practicality I’ve seen in young people all around the world has reinforced my unshakeable belief that we must put more trust in youth leadership and their effects in changing the world.
The frustration generated in young people that have no hope in the future is a major source of insecurity in today’s world.
And as UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres has once said, our best hope to address the current global challenges is with the new generations.
So, we must do our best not to disappoint young people, but rather to support them and amplify their important work in creating a more just, equitable, peaceful and sustainable future for all in every aspect and at all levels.
Thank you. And I wish you a fruitful forum.