By Robin Gomes
Against the backdrop of persistent inequality and rising hatred, “a world at war and a warming planet”, with climate change as “a long-term problem” and “a clear and present danger”, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that “we cannot afford to be the generation that fiddled while the planet burned”.
But “there is also hope”, he said in his New Year’s message, released on Sunday.
“From climate action to gender equality to social justice and human rights, your generation is on the frontlines and in the headlines”, he said, adding, “I am inspired by your passion and determination”.
Noting that young people are “rightly demanding a role in shaping the future”, he assured them: “I am with you”. “The United Nations stands with you – and belongs to you.”
Pointing out that 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the UN, Guterres said, “we are launching a Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), our blueprint for a fair globalization,” for the success of which young people’s help is needed.
“This year, my New Year’s message is to the greatest source of that hope: the world’s young people,” he said. “From climate action to gender equality to social justice and human rights,” he said, “your generation is on the frontlines and in the headlines.”
“This year, the world needs young people” to keep speaking out, thinking big, pushing boundaries and keeping up the pressure, concluded the Secretary-General with wishes for “peace and happiness in 2020”. (Source: UN News)