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‘Keep speaking out’, UN chief urges in message to World Youth Forum

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‘Keep speaking out’, UN chief urges in message to World Youth Forum

Young people are an incredible source of ideas and innovative solutions

GENEVA, Switzerland, January 10, 2022 / APO Group / –

Although all have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact on young people has been “especially heartbreaking,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said Monday.

In a video message to the World Youth Forum in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, he urged participants to help shape a better world after the crisis, in line with the theme of the conference.

“Building a better future starts today. So to the young people attending this forum, keep talking. Continue identifying the solutions and actions that we need to recover ”.

The Secretary General highlighted some of the devastating impacts that COVID-19 has had on the world’s youth.

Calling for change

More than 1.6 billion have had their education interrupted, while unemployment in their ranks has risen.

Young people have also seen access to services such as healthcare and counseling decline during a difficult time for mental health.

At the same time, they have intensified.

“On the streets and online, they are calling for change, demanding equality, peace, justice and action on the climate crisis,” said the Secretary General.

“They are supporting each other, in their neighborhoods and on social media. And through events like this, they provide ideas and solutions on how communities can rebuild and emerge stronger from the pandemic. ”

Message to leaders

The forum will run until Thursday and will take place under the theme Back Together: The World After COVID-19. The UN chief said it is a reminder that there is no time to waste.

After urging the young people to keep talking, the Secretary-General also delivered a message to the leaders and policy makers present.

“As you look at the recovery, look at the youth,” he advised. “Young people are an incredible source of ideas and innovative solutions. Their needs must take priority in policy and investment discussions. ”

Mr. Guterres said he looks forward to hearing the results of the forum and working with participants to shape a better future, beyond the pandemic.

Peace, Development, Creativity

The discussions at the World Youth Forum revolve around three themes: Peace, Development and Creativity.

It was first held in Sharm el Sheikh in November 2017, according to the official website.

The initiative was developed by a group of young Egyptians at the National Youth Conference in April, who came up with the idea of ​​engaging in dialogue with their counterparts around the world.

Since then, three sessions have been held, the last in 2019.

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