Our Present – Our Future: Forum on Global Citizenship and Youth Inclusion

Young people under the age of 30 accounts for over half of the world’s population. Connected to each other like never before, young people have the capacity to learn from one another’s contributions to the resilience of their communities, proposing innovative solutions, driving social progress and inspiring political change. They are also agents of change, mobilizing to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to improve the lives of people and the health of the planet.

The Youth Forum on Global Citizenship and Youth Inclusion for the SDGs Peace and Security held at the CTBT Science & Technology Conference on June 24 emphasized yet again that multilateralism must include the younger generations to foster sustainable solutions to complex global challenges.

The Forum formed an integral part of the landmark conference. After welcome remarks by CTBTO’s Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo, Dr Heinz Fischer was asked to deliver a special address, encouraging the young audience to be changemakers:

Dear friends,

Dear next generation,

Unless we raise our eyes above the horizon and take action now, we are facing a climate catastrophe.

Unless we reduce inequalities between and within countries, and reduce nationalism and xenophobia, we will risk war.

So please challenge your leaders, your friends, your colleagues – and even yourselves.

Inspire those around you to care about the world we share.

We should not forget that you are not only the future, you are the present!

Monika Froehler, CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre, moderated an interactive panel discussion of young leaders who addressed the challenges they had faced to promote change and shared their insights about youth platforms that work to include young voices in the discussions.

The Forum encouraged active participation by the audience through an interactive online presentation. Through several surveys, the audience was able to share their opinion, make statements, ask questions, and tell a bit about themselves.

Find the results from the online presentation-survey here:

  

“Towards Global Peace: Strengthening Youth’s Involvement in the Global Nuclear Dialogue”

On Friday, May 31th, “Towards Global Peace: Strengthening Youth‘s Involvement in the Global Nuclear Dialogue” took place at the Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.

The event featured distinguished speakers including Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo of the The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), and both Co-chairs and Board members of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens:

  • Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Heinz Fischer, former President of Austria
  • Ambassador Kim Won-soo, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
  • Ambassador Shin Dong-ik, former Korean Ambassador to Austria

Ban expressed the importance of engaging youth as change makers in the field of disarmament and the nuclear dialogue as well as in addressing climate challenges.

He stressed that “global leadership is very important, rather than national leadership” in solving global issues and achieving peace.

Fischer rightly pointed out that “nuclear threats are highly linked to the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals” and that the involvement of the youth plays a key role in advancing the overall Global Goals.

Zerbo added that young people are the leaders of today, not tomorrow, encouraging young participants,

“we should achieve a nuclear-free world together with youth, together with you.”

Pictures by the IGEE