Annan calls on young people to remind Governments of their development goal

Mr. Annan’s message was delivered at the opening of the UN European Youth Leadership Summit in Vienna, which runs for three days and brings together young people from 27 European countries to discuss ways to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through sport, culture and peace.“Governments need to be reminded of the pledges they have made to translate the Millennium Development Goals into reality. That is where young people like you come in. Your voice can hold leaders to those pledges. I know you will not resign yourselves to a world where others die of hunger, remain illiterate and lack human dignity,” Mr. Annan said.“That is why this Leadership Summit is right to focus on sport and culture as tools to accelerate progress towards reaching the Goals. As the massive following of the FIFA World Cup currently shows us, sport has an exceptional power to mobilize, motivate and unite people from every continent, race and religion in a common cause. The same is true of culture in all its forms – from music to poetry and art.”The Summit is being organized by the UN New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace and is hosted by the Government of Austria in its capacity as the current holder of the European Union (EU) Presidency, according to the UN.The Director of the New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace, Djibril Diallo, pointed out that the young participants were the first generation of the 21st century, gathered to discuss the future of Europe and how to be leaders.At the end of the conference on 21 June, a torch – symbolising youth, cooperation and sport – will be passed on to a youth leader from the United States, and the regional summits will end in a global summit at UN Headquarters in New York on 30 October 2006. read more