Guest Speech | Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China


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Greetings, ladies and gentleman, young talent from all over the world. Firstly, I would like to thank Mr. David Gosset and the China-Europe-America Initiative for inviting me to speak at this exciting program. Youth are our future. As our world becomes more and more volatile, we need young people to secure a healthy and a prosperous and a sustainable pathway for all of us together.

So what should young people do? The first thing is to communicate and connect. Youth share the same vigor, creativity and energy to make the world a better place. The philosopher Bertrand Russell once said, and I quote, "We must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance, which is absolutely vital to the continuation of human life on this planet." End of quote. The world is such a diverse place where we always need to embrace the differences between us through dialogue. Hence, I would like to congratulate all the young participants of this program that aim to enable dialogue for young people across the three major civilizations of the world, China, Europe and the US. It is vital for you to continue and sustain this dialogue for the years to come.


The second thing that young people need to do is to build real partnerships. Today we are faced with multiple pressing global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the global climate change. As the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, pointed out during the publishing of the new climate report, and I quote, "People and planet are getting clobbered by climate change." End of quote. Young people need to join hands together and find practical solutions to address the pressing environmental challenges posed to our climate. From climate actions spread across the world, we have already seen this potential. To implement the United Nations youth strategy, the United Nations in China established the theme group on youth, dedicated to engaging and empowering young people about Sustainable Development Goals and learning from their views, insights and ideas. As the United Nations Resident Coordinator in China, I would like to encourage the youth to answer our calls, take part and act fast and fighting climate change and promoting sustainable development across the world.

The third thing that young people need to bear in mind is empathy. There are still many people today living in hunger and conflict and poverty and the aftermath of natural disasters, which are already aggravated by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Young people need to care about their peers and unite together for a shared, prosperous future. Young people themselves are the bulk of the labor force and also the driving engine for economic growth. Therefore, the theme group on youth and the entire United Nations family has worked on enhancing access to social services, providing job training and employment opportunities for young people across China, especially vulnerable groups, such as left-behind children, girls, children with disabilities. We also support young people across the world, especially in Africa, through South-South cooperation.


Ladies and gentlemen, our world's future relies on youth. What young people think of the world and how they understand it today will shape our world in the coming decades. I firmly believe that young people from China, Europe and the US, around the world, can join hands to realize a fairer and more sustainable world.

Thank you very much.


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