NEW YORK, 4 September 2018 - Secretary-General, President Kagame, President Kim. And thank you Jayathma, for bringing to the halls of the United Nations something that is sorely needed: the voices of young people.
In my travels, I’ve heard their voices, too — their ideas, their enthusiasm, their vision for the future.
I’ve also heard their worries. That they will not find the education or skills they need. That they won’t find a job. They’re worried about violence at home…online…at school…in their neighbourhoods. And girls are worried about the discrimination and violence they face just because they’re girls.
We must all hear the voices of 1.8 billion young people. Which is why UNICEF is launching Generation Unlimited, or “Gen-U.” Our time. Our turn. Our unlimited future.
We’re calling for cutting-edge solutions and new ideas to get every young person in school, training or age-appropriate employment by 2030.
We’re asking governments, businesses, foundations, academia, non-profits, communities and innovators to help us. And we’re co-creating these solutions with young people in the lead. Supporting them as — together — we design and scale-up solutions that address these needs.
Today, we’re announcing a first round of solutions that can be scaled-up.
From a program in Argentina that connects remote, rural students with teachers via digital technology. To a program in Bangladesh that is training tens of thousands of young people in trades like tailoring, motorcycle repair and mobile-phone servicing. To a job-shadowing program in South Africa connecting young women with mentors in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math.
The next step is to gather public and private partners around these and other promising solutions to develop concrete plans to grow the funding base necessary to reach more young people, in more communities and countries.
But we need more ideas — big and small, local and global.
The possibilities are endless. And the need is urgent.
A massive generation is about to inherit our world. Please help us leave a legacy of hope and opportunities for them. And most importantly, with them. Thank you.
And now I’d like to ask my friend Jim Kim, President of the World Bank — and a true champion of children and young people — to say a few words.