Culture and Education

Youth Deserve a Spot at the Table to Lead the Charge for a Brighter Future, Declares Guterres

Young people are on the “frontlines of the struggle to build a better future”, the UN chief said on Thursday, International Youth Day.

“They are tackling inequities in food security, biodiversity loss, threats to our environment and much more”, Secretary-General António Guterres spelled out in his message for the day.

And noting that COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the “dire need for…transformational change”, he upheld that young people must be “full partners in that effort”.

Stand with youth

From gender equality to education and skills development, the top UN official highlighted that youth exhibit drive, creativity, and commitment.

“But young people cannot do it on their own”, he stated. “They need allies to make sure they are engaged, included and understood”.

Guided by the UN system-wide youth strategy, Youth2030, the Organization is strengthening its work for and with young people worldwide.

“I urge everyone to guarantee young people a seat at the table as we build a world based on inclusive, fair, and sustainable development for all”, said Mr. Guterres.


International Youth Day 2021 – António Guterres (UN Secretary-General)

Tap into youth

UN cultural agency (UNESCO) chief, Audrey Azoulay quoted iconic New York author, poet and musician, Patti Smith, to underscore her agency’s message that young people must act for themselves, asking: “Who can know the heart of youth but youth itself?”  

Ms. Azoulay explained that UNESCO intends to “explore the idea” of a global grant system, to finance research projects and grassroots action, led by young people. She’s convening an international conference on “the impact of the pandemic on young people” during September.

Youth are also at the heart of other agency intiatives, including the UNESCO Global Youth Community initiative, Youth UNESCO Climate Action Network and  various projects to prevent violent extremism. 

“These are the best means to reach them in a relevant and useful way”, she said, inviting young people to continue to engage and for all of civil society to “tap into the immense potential of this unique, productive and incredibly capable” group.


Tweet URL

The newly-elected President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Collen Vixen Kelapile, said that the inclusion and involvement of youth in key activities, is a top priority.

Pointing out that “youth are changemakers and their contribution is essential to realizing the mandate of the Council”, he looked forward to hearing from youth around the world on “how we can advance together the Youth Agenda and implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDSGs)” while responding and recovering from COVID-19.

Youth festival

Meanwhile, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth welcomed thousands of young people from across the globe as it kicked off the first-ever, all virtual Youth Lead Innovation Festival.

Over two days, participants will be discussing the importance of innovation and technology to achieve the SDGs and support COVID-19 recovery.

Despite facing multidimensional challenges in their day-to-day lives, UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake said, “time and time again we see young people at the frontlines of developing new solutions and becoming pillars of their communities”.

“Young people of today are digital natives that routinely contribute to the resilience of their communities, proposing innovative solutions, driving social progress and inspiring transparent and inclusive political change”, she highlighted.



  1. Young people are indeed at the forefront of the fight for a better future. It’s clear that they are addressing challenges like food security and environmental threats with determination. We must support them as allies to ensure they are actively involved and understood in promoting positive change.

  2. Young people are indeed the driving force behind the fight for a brighter future. It’s inspiring to see them actively addressing important issues such as food security and environmental threats. Mr. Guterres is right in emphasizing the need for youth to be full partners in creating transformative change. Let’s stand with the youth and ensure they have a meaningful seat at the table for a more inclusive and sustainable world.

  3. Young people are truly at the forefront of driving change and shaping a brighter tomorrow. It’s imperative that their voices are heard and that they are actively involved in decision-making processes. Let’s stand together with our youth to create a more equitable and sustainable world for all.

  4. Young people are truly at the forefront of driving positive change for a better future. They are actively addressing critical issues like food insecurity, biodiversity loss, and environmental threats. It’s clear that they play a crucial role in catalyzing transformational change, especially highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s support and empower youth to ensure they are valued partners in creating a more inclusive and sustainable world.

  5. Young people are indeed leading the way towards a brighter future, and it’s inspiring to see how they are addressing critical issues such as food security and environmental threats. Secretary-General António Guterres acknowledges their crucial role and stresses the importance of their active involvement in driving transformational change. Let’s stand with youth and ensure they are supported in creating a more inclusive and sustainable world for all.

  6. As a young person myself, I couldn’t agree more with Secretary-General António Guterres. It’s time for youth to not just be heard, but to be actively involved in shaping our future. Together, we can create a brighter tomorrow for all.

  7. As a young person myself, I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Guterres. It is crucial for youth to be actively involved in shaping a better future for all. We have the drive and determination to make a difference, but we also need the support and guidance from older generations. Together, we can create a world that is more inclusive and sustainable for everyone.

  8. As a young person myself, I strongly believe that empowering youth is crucial for creating a brighter future. We are ready to take on the challenges of today, from climate change to social disparities. It’s inspiring to see leaders like Guterres recognizing our potential and advocating for our involvement in shaping the world. Let’s stand together and make sure youth have a voice at the decision-making table.

  9. Young people are indeed at the forefront of driving positive change in areas like food security, biodiversity, and environmental protection. It’s crucial that they are not only heard but actively involved in shaping a better future for all. Mr. Guterres’ call for their full partnership in transformative efforts is a significant step towards inclusivity and sustainable development.

  10. Young people are at the forefront of creating a better future, tackling issues such as food security and environmental threats. It’s crucial that they are not only supported but also fully involved in making transformative changes. We should stand with youth and ensure they have a say in shaping an inclusive and sustainable world for all.

  11. Young people are truly the driving force behind positive change. It’s inspiring to see them taking on challenges like inequities in food security and threats to the environment. We should support and empower them every step of the way to ensure a brighter future for all.

  12. Can young people truly lead the charge for a brighter future given the challenges they are facing today?

    1. Young people have shown immense resilience and determination in tackling challenges, and they undoubtedly have the potential to lead us towards a brighter future. With the right support and opportunities, their voices can drive impactful change that benefits us all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button