Opening Address of Ban Ki-moon at the 24th World Scout Jamboree

Opening Address
24th World Scout Jamboree

Glen Jean, West Virginia, USA
Ban Ki-moon
August 1, 2019

Mr. Craig Turpie, Chairperson of the World Scout Committee,
Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary-General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement,
Scouts and 24th World Scout Jamboree participants,
Distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen,

It is my great honor to be here with you today at the 24th World Scout Jamboree in the beautiful city of Glen Jean, West Virginia!
I take this opportunity to offer my sincere congratulations to the Boy Scout of America, Scouts Canada, and Asociacion de Scouts de Mexico for their hard work in realizing such an important and transformational event.

Scouts, you have discovered the key to live in peaceful coexistence over these last ten days. If you can do this for ten days, you can certainly do this for one hundred days, and then a thousand days.
Choosing this path is yours.

However, the secret of peace and harmony that you have unlocked here is not meant for you to retain simply as a memory.
Rather, it is a mission beckoning you to do your part in unlocking the possibility of peace for our entire world moving forward.

In this regard, I am confident that you Scouts are now well-equipped to tackle the challenges of both today and tomorrow as engaged global citizens.
More than ever before the world needs a new generation of thinkers and doers that are globally engaged and sustainability-minded.

You are now true global ambassadors who will return to your own countries to unlock a new world; one anchored in coexistence, tolerance, and sustainability for our planet.
Baden Powell, Scouting’s founder, had a driving goal throughout his life: to ensure that Scouting became a World Brotherhood of Peace.

The mission of the United Nations is very similar: to promote international peace, tolerance, and co-existence between all peoples and nations.
In the last 112 years, a Scouting program has been adopted in nearly every nation on earth. Tomorrow’s leaders are built through Scouting and the values it instills. Its central mission is to prepare young people to be ethical citizens.

Today, I would like to humbly ask you 3 important ways you can contribute.

First, try to be a global citizen as you continue in your own lives, studies, and careers. Global citizenship is a unique tool that can help solve some of our most pressing challenges and assist us in building peace and reaching sustainability.

Global citizens are those who identify themselves not as a member of a nation, but instead as a member of humanity. They are understanding and tolerant of other people and cultures. They fight for the protection of our planet. They are committed to service and helping others.

Second, be a Scout championing to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are the most ambitious and far-reaching visions for us, humanity and nature the UN has ever presented to the world. SDGs cover all spectrums of human life and our planet earth.

Third, be an agent to implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement. We need your active participation. Climate change is approaching much faster than we think.
– We cannot negotiate with nature.
– Nature does not wait for us.
– Nature is sending strong warnings for us to act.
– We do not have Plan B because we do not have a Planet B.

Scouts and 24th World Scout Jamboree participants,
Over the next four years, when the World Organization of the Scout Movement reassembles in Sae Man Geum, Chollabukdo, Republic of Korea, I challenge you to broaden the values of Scouting throughout our world.
President Ham Jong-Han of the Korea Scout Association and Governor Song Ha-Jin and all the citizens of Korea will welcome all of you in 2023.

Particularly, I greatly hope that you can help widen respect for all people, expand care for our earth and its resources, and enhance the development of other young people through both education and guiding moral values.
I have no doubt that through your vision and actions to this end, we can construct a more peaceful and sustainable future for all.

Dear Scouts, ladies and gentlemen,
Let us work together to make this world better for all.
The future of our world is in your hands.
Thank you.

Photo by World Scouting

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