The U.N. Security Council called on youth from around the world to participate in a special Dec. 21 discussion on the challenges they believe their generation will face.
Earlier in December, the council asked individuals between the ages of 13 and 21 from around the world the question, “What is the most vital challenge to international peace and security facing your generation?” About 1,000 youth responded through YouTube, Facebook, e-mail and written letters, according to NBC’s theGrio.
In the end, three video submissions were selected for presentation from nearly 200 young people from the U.S., Japan, Germany, Austria and China who were invited to the informal meeting to deliberate issues of peace-building, terrorism and nuclear disarmament, according to a U.N. news release.
A 20-year-old woman from Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo pleaded for “durable peace” in her country, as young women face the constant threat of rape and forced marriage and are denied education.
A 17-year-old male student from Tunisia discussed the world’s terrorism, poverty, hunger and illiteracy, while a young woman of the same age from Venezuela called on countries to stop financing war and finance “health, education and security.”
At the “Your World, Your Future: Voices of a New Generation,” all 15 members of the Security Council reacted to the messages, detailing strategies to initiate peace and security in their respective countries.
“So let me say to the young people of the world: you have a stake in our debates every day. But today, you and your generation will have a voice as well,” United States Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice told the crowd of youngsters.
“We remind ourselves that we, the grown-ups, are only the temporary stewards of the Earth, and that we owe it to you, the next generation, to provide a more peaceful world of growing prosperity, equality, democracy, and opportunity,” she said.
The event, organized by Ambassador Rice, was an element of U.S.’s month-long tenure of the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council.