17 August 2005
Secretary-General, in Video Message, Urges Youth to Hold Leaders to Anti-Poverty Pledges
NEW YORK, 16 August (UN Headquarters) -- Following is UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's video message for youth on the Millennium Development Goals, broadcast 15 August:
Today, there are almost 3 billion people in the world under the age of 25.
More than half a billion of them live on less than two dollars a day.
More than 100 million school-aged children are not in school.
Every day, almost 30,000 children die of poverty.
And 7,000 young people become infected with HIV/AIDS.
All that can be changed, if we work together to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
The Goals were adopted five years ago by all the world's Governments as a blueprint for building a better world in the 21st century.
They represent a partnership.
Poor countries have pledged to govern better, and invest in their own people through health care and education.
Rich countries have pledged to support them, through aid, debt relief, and fairer trade.
But leaders need to be reminded of their promise to translate the Goals into reality.
That is where young people like you come in. Your voices can hold leaders to those pledges.
I know you will not accept a world where others die of hunger, remain illiterate and lack human dignity.
So, please, make sure your voices are heard.
Make sure your generation is the one to defeat poverty.
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