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

$96.5 million for new science research programmes

3 Sep 2015 News
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has today announced funding for 48 new science research programmes, for a total... more

10 year passports will be delivered early

24 Aug 2015 News
10 year passports will be delivered early Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today welcomed the Government Administration Select ... more

Business

CORRECT: Government, Auckland iwi reach agreement

3 Sep 2015 Business News By Fiona Rotherham
  CORRECT: Government, iwi reach agreement for private housing on Crown land in Auckland (Removes reference to selling land in... more

Air NZ to defend US class action over air cargo cartel claim

3 Sep 2015 Business News By Paul McBeth
  Sept. 3 (BusinessDesk) - Air New Zealand, the national carrier, will defend a multi-billion dollar class action in the US... more

Living

It’s Snoopy’s Birthday!

10 Aug 2015 Entertainment
20th Century Fox is celebrating Snoopy’s birthday ahead of the release of the first animated Peanuts movie SNOOPY AND CHARLIE... more

NZ's Sola Rosa Sound System heads to London - interview with Andrew Spraggon

6 Aug 2015 Entertainment By Charlotte Everett
Sola Rosa Sound System comes to London on 20 August – NZNewsUK London Editor Charlotte Everett had a chat with frontman Andrew... more

Property

Auckland house sales climb to 15-yr high for month of August

3 Sep 2015 Property By Paul McBeth
Article - BusinessDesk   Auckland house sales climb to 15-year high for month of August, prices stall Sept. 3 (BusinessDesk) -... more

Auckland house price growth stalls in July: Barfoot

5 Aug 2015 Property By Tina Morrison
  Auckland house price growth stalls in July as properties 'fully priced', Barfoot says Aug. 5 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland house... more

Migration

NZ net migration reaches new annual record in June

21 Jul 2015 Migration By Paul McBeth
  NZ net migration reaches new annual record in June, swelled by Indian, Chinese students July 21 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand... more

NZ migration rises to new annual record in May

22 Jun 2015 Migration By Suze Metherell
  NZ migration rises to new annual record in May, closing in on Treasury's upside scenario June 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand... more

Travel

Air NZ to continue alliance with Cathay Pacific

25 Aug 2015 Travel & Tourism By Joshua Riddiford
Air NZ to continue alliance with Cathay Pacific, targets Asian tourists Aug. 25 (BusinessDesk) - Air New Zealand's has had its... more

Partnerships push New Zealand’s profile abroad

25 Aug 2015 NZ Tourism
25 August 2015 Campaigns promoting New Zealand as an outstanding visitor destination reached more than 1.2 billion people globally... more

Sport

NZ Rowing: Kiwi crews book A finals

3 Sep 2015 Sport
3 Sept 2015 Emotions ran high on an action packed day four at the 2015 World Rowing Championships with eight New Zealand crews taking... more

Silver Ferns to take on world’s best!

3 Sep 2015 Netball
Netball’s greatest rivalry will take centre stage in October when the Silver Ferns host the world champion Australian Diamonds... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the flag campaign

25 Aug 2015 Opinion
Gordon Campbell on the flag campaign So far, the public has treated the government’s flag campaign with something between... more

Gordon Campbell on Donald Trump, and Dr Dre

19 Aug 2015 Opinion
Gordon Campbell on Donald Trump, and Dr Dre   For the past few months, you, me, and Rupert Murdoch have been waiting for the... more

Kiwi Success

Library and Information Advisory Commission Appointments

3 Sep 2015 Appointments
Library and Information Advisory Commission Appointments Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced three new... more

Former cricketer Simon Doull signs with NZME

19 Aug 2015 Appointments
Former cricketer and established broadcaster Simon Doull signs with NZME 19 August 2015 – New Zealand Media and Entertainment... more

Recruitment

Eleven straight quarters of job growth

5 Aug 2015 Recruitment
The latest labour market data shows continued job growth, with 7,000 more people employed over the last quarter and 69,000 more New ... more

NZ unemployment rate rises to 5.9% on weaker jobs growth

5 Aug 2015 Recruitment By Paul McBeth
NZ unemployment rate rises to 5.9% as jobs growth lags behind growing population Aug. 5 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's jobless rate... more