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Message of United Nations Secretary-General to MED FORUM 2016 delivered by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova

Message of the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to MED FORUM 2016, delivered by UNESCO's Director-General on UN DAY at the Opening Plenary in Valletta

24 October 2016

I send warm greetings to the MED FORUM of the Anna Lindh Foundation in Valletta, and thank you for recognizing the importance of empowering the world’s young people.  Too often, young people are seen as a problem or a threat.  This is a profound injustice.  Young people can be our greatest peacebuilders, bridge-builders and agents of mutual understanding.  If the world is to achieve our shared goals in this generation, the next generation needs to be at the table and in the room where decisions are taken.

Your gathering coincides with the observance of United Nations Day, marking the founding of the world Organization.

This is a time of transition for the world and for the United Nations.

Humanity has entered the era of sustainability – with a global commitment to fulfil the great promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  In this, the Organization’s 71st year, we have 17 goals to propel us towards a better future for all on a healthy planet.

I thank people across the world for their support -- and urge all to give their full backing to Secretary-General-designate Antonio Guterres in continuing our global mission of peace, sustainable development and human rights.