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.


Add a comment

Bookmark and Share


PM welcomes closer partnership with ASEAN

22 Nov 2015 News
New Zealand Government Rt Hon John Key Prime Minister 22 November 2015   PM welcomes closer partnership with ASEAN Prime ... more

Submissions open for United Nations report

20 Nov 2015 News
Minister for Women Louise Upston welcomes public consultation on a draft report for the United Nations outlining New Zealand’s... more


Increased Canterbury quake costs pushed Tower into the red

20 Nov 2015 Business News By Paul McBeth
Nov. 20 (BusinessDesk) - Tower, the general insurer, says it will report an annual loss next week after raising its provisioning for... more

NZ inflation expectations drift further below 2% mid-point

17 Nov 2015 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   NZ inflation expectations drift further below 2% mid-point Nov. 17 (BusinessDesk) - Longer term ... more


Awards recognise NZ recreation's top performers

20 Nov 2015 Lifestyle
New Zealand’s recreation industry recognised 10 inspiring individuals and organisations at the New Zealand Recreation ... more

Villa Maria Proves a Huge Hit

16 Nov 2015 Lifestyle
VILLA MARIA PROVES A HUGE HIT TO OPEN SOVEREIGN TRI SERIES The Sovereign Tri Series for 2015/16 is underway with today’s... more


Auckland house price growth slows in Oct as new rules bite

4 Nov 2015 Property By Tina Morrison
  Auckland house price growth moderates in October as new rules introduced Nov. 4 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland house price growth... more

Tenancy bond system moves online

1 Nov 2015 Property
New Zealand Government 1 November 2015 A new tenancy bond service goes online today as part of the Government’s programme of... more


New migrant service launched for New Zealand and Australia

12 Oct 2015 Migration
Those looking for a sense of security when immigrating to New Zealand or Australia, need look no futher than the first inusrance... more

NZ's annual net migration reaches record 60,300 in August

21 Sep 2015 Migration
  NZ's annual net migration reaches record 60,300 in August on Indian, Chinese students By Jonathan Underhill Sept. 21... more


Australia's cloud passports only "conceptual" for now: DIA

29 Oct 2015 Travel & Tourism By Fiona Rotherham
Internal Affairs says Australia's cloud passports only "conceptual" for now   Oct. 29 (BusinessDesk) - The Department of... more

Auckland Airport a 'conductor' for New Zealand tourism: CEO

22 Oct 2015 Travel & Tourism By Fiona Rotherham
  Auckland Airport a 'conductor' for New Zealand tourism, CEO Littlewood says Oct. 22 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland International... more


Richie McCaw retires from rugby

19 Nov 2015 Sport
New Zealand Rugby Union Richie McCaw retires from rugby Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boot... more

Burling and Tuke on top at the mid-way mark

19 Nov 2015 Sailing
Yachting New Zealand Burling and Tuke on top at the mid-way mark at 49er World Champs Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have taken the... more


Gordon Campbell on why IS’s weakness makes it more dangerous

20 Nov 2015 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
Gordon Campbell on why Islamic State’s growing weakness makes it more dangerous One of the great things about writing online... more

Gordon Campbell on Islam and the Paris attacks

17 Nov 2015 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
According to polls, a third of Republican voters in Iowa want Islam to be criminalized. Unfortunately, the c... more

Kiwi Success

Cavalier promotes CFO Paul Alston to top job

20 Nov 2015 Appointments
Article - BusinessDesk   Cavalier promotes CFO Paul Alston to top job By Paul McBeth Nov. 20 (BusinessDesk) - Cavalier Corp, the... more

Employment Court Judge appointed

20 Nov 2015 Appointments
New Zealand Government Hon Christopher FinlaysonAttorney-General 20 November 2015 Kerry Smith, barrister and solicitor of... more


UPDATE: Weaker employment adds to rate-cut case

4 Nov 2015 Recruitment By Johnathan Underhill
Article - BusinessDesk   UPDATE: NZ employment falls in third quarter, adding to case for further RBNZ rate cut (Recasts to... more

Unemployment rises 0.1 per cent

4 Nov 2015 Recruitment
The latest Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) has reflected the softening of the economy in the first half of the year, with an... more