In China, Ban urges young people to drive global action   18 Aug 2014

At a special event on the occasion of the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged young people everywhere to get involved and engaged in driving global action at this critical time in history.

"It is easy to lose hope but I always feel motivated and encouraged by the energy of youth. Young people like yourselves," Mr. Ban said at a Nanjing University event hosted by the All-China Youth Federation.

"There are many difficult issues which you have to deal with and I have to deal with, but I need your support and I need your participation and engagement," he added, emphasizing that young people must dedicate themselves to noble ideals.

"My parents taught me to study hard, to work for other people, and work for the public good," recalled the Secretary-General.

While growing up in wartime Korea left the family very poor, "we had something better than gold": the hunger and thirst for education, Mr. Ban said. In 1962, when he was just a teenager Mr. Ban was invited to visit the United States. On that trip, he met President John F. Kennedy.

"I was a high school boy at that time. It was quite an extraordinary honour. At that time, I was thinking, asking myself, what should I do for my country? I thought that because Korea was so poor at that time, I needed to do something for my country's economy and political stability."

Young people today too must deal with harsh problems- war, hunger, poverty and disease. But they mustn't lose hope, Mr. Ban said. Young people must drive global change and be leaders in preventing abuses of human rights and environmental degradation.

"We have just 500 days left to meet the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)," Ban said, adding that the "clock will be ticking" until December 2015.

Compared to 1990 some 700 million fewer people worldwide live in conditions of extreme poverty. Six million fewer children die each year from preventable diseases while more than 2.3 billion people have gained access to improved water resources.

China has played an important role in these achievements, Mr. Ban said. The world was able to lift at least half of the extremely poor people out of poverty, many of who live in China, thanks to the country's hard work. But still, millions live in degrading conditions and die from preventable diseases. With the help of young people, these challenges can and will be addressed.

Mr. Ban said he appointed his Youth Envoy, Ahmad Alhendawi, who is just 30 years old and the youngest senior official at the United Nations, because "the world is very young."

"I appointed him because half of the worlds population- 3.5 billion people- are under the age of 25. That means the world is very young. We have to do more for these young people. That is why working for and working with young people is one of the United Nations priorities."

Mr. Ban will open the Youth Olympic Games this evening. At today's youth event, he called sport "a very unique, extraordinary power to bring people together and drive social change." He said he hoped the Games would promote peace and bridge the gap between different ethnicities, religions and traditions- which is what the United Nations Charter aims to achieve.

Earlier today, Mr. Ban met with President Xi Jinping to express his gratitude to China for its strong partnership with the United Nations. The Secretary-General and the President discussed a wide variety of international issues, including the situations in Ukraine; Iraq; Syria; the Middle East, including Gaza; and Northeast Asia, including the Korean Peninsula, as well as the West African Ebola outbreak.

Mr. Ban also commended China's growing role in addressing pressing global issues such as climate change and shaping the future development agenda and for its contributions to the promotion of peace and security and human rights.

ENDS

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

Museum of Waitangi set to become a national and visitor Icon

5 Feb 2016 News
05 February 2016 Museum of Waitangi set to become a national and visitor Icon The new Museum of Waitangi, opened today by the... more

ETS Review modelling documents released

5 Feb 2016 Environment
5 February 2016 ETS Review modelling documents released Three technical documents are being released to help New Zealanders engage... more

Business

NZ wool prices slip on higher kiwi, reduced China demand

5 Feb 2016 Business News By Tina Morrison
Article - BusinessDesk   NZ wool prices slip on higher kiwi dollar, reduced demand from China By Tina Morrison Feb. 5 ... more

NZ directors more aware of risk, focus on cyber security

5 Feb 2016 Business News By Sophie Boot
Article - BusinessDesk   NZ directors more aware of risk, focus on cyber security   Feb. 5 (BusinessDesk) - Directors of... more

Living

Does what it means to be a Kiwi depend on where you live?

5 Feb 2016 Lifestyle
  4 February 2016What it is to be a Kiwi may depend of where you live – Auckland or elsewhere in New Zealand – with... more

2015: The Year of the Blockbuster

21 Jan 2016 Entertainment
Motion Pictures Distributors' Association   January 21, 2016 2015: The Year of the Blockbuster For the second year in a row the ... more

Property

Auckland house sales volumes jump to 8-year high in January

4 Feb 2016 Property By Tina Morrison
  Auckland's house sales volumes jump to 8-year high in January, Barfoot says Feb. 4 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland residential... more

Auckland house prices little changed in December

6 Jan 2016 Property By Sophie Boot
Article - BusinessDesk   Auckland house prices little changed in December as sales volumes, listings drop Jan. 6 (BusinessDesk)... more

Migration

More than 27,000 new Kiwis in 2015

5 Feb 2016 Migration
  This Waitangi Day, New Zealand will roll out the welcome mat to 24 new citizens at Government House, and acknowledge over... more

NZ net migrants reach all-time high 63,700 in boom November

21 Dec 2015 Migration
Article - Businesswire   NZ net migrants reach all-time high 63,700 in boom November year for travel By Jonathan Underhill Dec. ... more

Travel

More than 100,000 SmartGate users in one week

22 Jan 2016 Travel & Tourism
New Zealand Government Hon Nicky WagnerMinister of Customs 22 January 2016 More than 100,000 SmartGate users in one week Customs ... more

Wellington ratepayers to pay $8mln for Canberra flights

21 Jan 2016 Travel & Tourism By Pattrick Smellie
Wellington ratepayers to pay $8mln over 10 years for Canberra flights Jan. 21 (BusinessDesk) - Wellington City Council is... more

Sport

Global Racing Teams Attracted to Godzone’s Fifth Chapter

5 Feb 2016 Multisport
70 teams from 11 nations will come together in Kaiteriteri, Tasman this April for the fifth chapter of New Zealand’s premier ... more

Rob Nicol joins Mondiale Aces squad

22 Jan 2016 Cricket
Auckland Cricket Friday, 22 January 2016 Rob Nicol joins Mondiale Aces squad for Ford Trophy Qualifying Final The Mondiale Auckland... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on Paula Bennett’s fantasy politics and Iran's election

22 Jan 2016 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
We seem to be living in an era of virtual government, where governments promote only an illusion of policy kapow! rather than the... more

Gordon Campbell on the Dotcom extradition decision

24 Dec 2015 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the Dotcom extradition decision Inevitably – and with justification –... more

Kiwi Success

Appointment of GCSB Acting Director

5 Feb 2016 Appointments
New Zealand Government Hon Christopher Finlayson5 February 2016 GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director... more

Heading to Europe And the Olympics of Architecture

22 Jan 2016 Flying Kiwi*
Warren and Mahoney Heading to Europe And the Olympics of Architecture Architectural graduate Antonia Lapwood has been awarded the... more

Recruitment

Addressing skills shortages in dairy farming

11 Dec 2015 Recruitment
    11 December 2015 Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Steven Joyce and Minister for Social... more

Alignment of NZ and Australian qualifications frameworks

4 Dec 2015 Recruitment
New Zealand Government Hon Steven Joyce Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment 4 December 2015 Tertiary Education,... more