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

Ban Ki-moon urges Scout members to be global citizens at the Jamboree!

As the former United Nations Secretary-General and current Honorary President for the Korea Scout Association, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered an opening address at the 24th World Scout Jamboree held in West Virginia, USA.

“We don’t have a Plan B because we don’t have a Planet B. That is the most important message for us,” said Ban.

He stressed that climate change is the number one priority and that we should urge national leaders to act as global leaders to abide by the Paris Agreement.

The Scout Jamboree had high visibility of the UN’s SDGs, advocating for the rights of refugees and gender equality through UN Women’s HeForShe Baton campaign. Ban visited global development village and sites to meet and encourage young leaders to act with a global citizenship mindset. He also delivered a talk to the gathered young participants who sat around him about “young people and the future of the planet.”

At the Jamboree, BKMC Board member Ahmad Alhendawi who serves as the Secretary-General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) said that

“if we don’t change all the time, trying to improve the program, we wouldn’t last this long.”

He added that the Scout Movement is built on unity and understanding and that the young members of it “truly set the example of how the world out there should be.”

Photo © Jean-Pierre POUTEAU 2019, World Scouting

HeForShe at the World Scout Jamboree, Youth Leading the Way

HeForShe at the World Scout Jamboree, Youth Leading the Way

  • World Scouting, in partnership with HeForShe – the global solidarity movement for gender equality, invites international Scouts to commit to gender equality, engaging over 40,000 Scouts at the 24th World Scout Jamboree.
  • The partnership for gender equality between HeForShe and World Scouting builds momentum as thousands of international Scouts join the HeForShe movement, filling a critical gap to engage both girls and boys in achieving gender equality.
  • The HeForShe Baton – a traveling symbol of the HeForShe global solidarity movement – was passed from World Scouting Secretary General Ahmad Alhendawi to former United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, sharing the mantle for gender equality ahead of the 2023 World Scouting Jamboree in South Korea.

Beckley, West Virginia August 2, 2019:  The UN Women HeForShe Initiative and the World Scout Movement have this week helped move the needle on gender equality at the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, USA, with 40,000 youth from over 150 countries. This partnership is the result of World Scouting’s commitment to the global solidarity movement HeForShe.

The 24th World Scout Jamboree, the largest global youth education event and an international gathering of Scouts, was held July 22 through August 2 and saw tens of thousands of international Scouts come to learn and discuss issues of development and gender equality. Scouts also showed their commitment to gender equality by signing up to join the HeForShe movement for gender equality online. Scouts from around the world participated in gender “Scout Talks” and engaged the HeForShe Action Kit for Scouts to explore the role that they can play in their societies to create a gender equal world.

“By learning about gender equality and talking about what it means in today’s world, these young people are taking important steps as a new generation of allies,” commented UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “There is great mobilization potential here, given the 50 million or so Scouts worldwide. This is a partnership that can bring the HeForShe movement’s messages of change into whole communities.”

Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary General of World Scouting, reinforced his commitment to gender equality and to inspiring millions of Scouts to create a more gender equal world by joining the HeForShe movement.

“This World Scout Jamboree is a point where we culminate and emphasize this commitment by joining forces with Scouts around the world to champion gender equality and to say as Scouts: we are HeForShe,” said Alhendawi.

“We believe that this Jamboree is a major highlight in our partnership, but our efforts to continue mobilizing young people for gender equality will go far beyond this event.”

In 2017, World Scouting Secretary General, Alhendawi became a HeForShe Champion with an ambition to see 50 million Scouts commit to achieving gender equality. Thousands of Scouts have already responded with a resounding “Count me in!”, and many more joined the movement in West Virginia.  

Also present was former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on hand to welcome the world to the next World Scout Jamboree to be held in South Korea in 2023.

“As the very first man to sign up to be HeForShe, I am especially proud to see how far the movement has come, and that it continues to grow stronger. The partnership between HeForShe and World Scouting is a testament to cooperation, solidarity and progress in our world,”

stated Mr. Ban, who championed the HeForShe Initiative during his UN Secretary-General tenure and is currently the patron of the 2023 Word Scout Jamboree.

As a highlight of the closing ceremony of the Jamboree, World Scouting Secretary-General Ahmad Alhendawi passed the HeForShe Baton to Ban Ki-moon, symbolizing a sharing of responsibility to mobilize men and boys to stand up for gender equality. “As we accept the baton of hosting this wonderful event, we also receive the HeForShe Baton for gender equality and take on the responsibility to build a more gender-equal world. There is no better place to start than our youth,” added the former UN Secretary-General.

About HeForShe

Created by UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, the HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality provides a systematic approach and targeted platform where a global audience can engage and become change agents for the achievement of gender equality in our lifetime. HeForShe invites people around the world to stand together as equal partners to craft a shared vision of a gender-equal world and implement specific, locally relevant solutions for the good of all of humanity.

About World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM)

Scouting is the world’s leading educational youth movement, engaging millions of young people to be active citizens and create positive change in their communities. The World Scout Movement is made up of more than 50 million Scouts connected together through a membership network of 170 National Scout Organizations.

Press Release
Media Contact: HeForShe@unwomen.org

Photo: Maria Dolores Gonzales & Hank Hyungkyu JANG, World Scouting