UN chief calls for safe spaces for young people


On the occasion of International Youth Day, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday called for young people to have safe spaces.

"Young people around the world need safe access to spaces – public, civic, physical or digital – where they can express themselves freely and realize their dreams," the secretary-general said in a message.

Mr. Guterres recalled a sad fact for today's youth: "More than 400 million young women and men live in situations of armed conflict or organized violence". "Millions are victims of deprivation, harassment or intimidation and other violations of their rights."

For the UN chief, the hopes of the world rest on young people. "Peace, economic dynamism, social justice, tolerance – all this and much more depends, today and tomorrow, on our ability to value the potential of youth."

Mr. Guterres also said that the United Nations attaches the greatest importance to listening to young people, and offering them the means to participate actively in decisions that affect them.

Next September, the United Nations will launch a new strategy for youth. A strategy "through which we can strengthen the work we do for and with young people," said the UN Secretary-General.

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