Some participants in the forum. Photo by the UN
The event, which was livestreamed for the first time in Viet Nam, allowed young people to share their views on development issues of their choice, namely climate change and environment as well as equality, to create the future they want. The topics of discussion were selected by youth themselves through the UN75 Youth Forum online survey conducted earlier. More than 800 Vietnamese young people participated in the survey.
The Forum also featured the "Power of Music," in which the renowned Composer Quoc Trung, the founder of the Hanoi Monsoon Music Festival, and Hoang Thai Vu named as "the Prince of Vietnamese Indie Music" by the Billboard International, shared their thoughts on how music can unite and connect people worldwide.
The UN75 Youth Forum is part of a series of activities and events to be held in Viet Nam throughout the year to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: "No country, no community, is able to solve the complex problems of our world alone. We need to come together, not only to talk, but to listen. We need your opinions, your strategies and your ideas for us to be able to deliver better for the people of the world that we must serve."
The 2020 Global Conversation, the first virtual dialogue on 'building the future we want,' constitutes an important contribution to the UN's efforts to tackle existing challenges such as gender inequality, rising conflicts, climate change and global warming. The year 2020 is also a critical year as the start of the Decade of Action to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
Opening the Forum, UN Resident Coordinator for Viet Nam Kamal Malhotra emphasized: "This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations whose Charter starts with "We the Peoples…". The UN75 Youth Forum has been designed by young people themselves for young people across the country. It presents young people with the opportunity to join in the 2020 Global Conversation to have their voices fully heard. I hope and trust they will seize this opportunity."
Climate change and environmental protection are major concerns globally, regionally and locally. To enable a better Viet Nam for future generations, it is critical for youth to take action. Ms Nguyen Quynh Duyen, 28 years old from Hanoi said: "Our future generations will blame us for leaving behind an unprotected world if we fail to take actions now. Today, I am inspired after joining the discussion on the youth's climate solutions as well as the youth role in the fight against climate change. I hope that our ideas will soon be incorporated into the UN's plans to support Vietnam. I also hope that more similar forums for youth will be organised."
Addressing the forum, Ms. Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative and Chair of the UN Youth Working Group and the Communications Group said: "I would like to assure you that your views, ideas and opinions matter, and these matter a lot. You need to know that you are not leaders for the future – you are leaders for today. And that is why in this Forum, you explore the future you want, for Viet Nam to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030."
The ideas and experiences of young Vietnamese people will stimulate longer-term discussion and action, provide lessons for the UN on what it will take to achieve stronger global cooperation, and be a source of solutions to the challenges we face today. The Secretary-General is expected to present the opinions, ideas and solutions generated through the various UN75 dialogues globally at a high-level summit for world leaders in September 2020.
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