Kofi Annan Calls for Real Change to
Secure Human Rights for Youth
United Nations, August 12, 2005
In commemoration of the International Youth Day, Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on young people to hold political leaders accountable to accomplish the Millennium Development Goals.
In his speech he stated:
"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."
In celebrations all over the world, NGOs and government officials pledged to accomplish these goals, which include a commitment to:
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Achieve universal primary education
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Reduce child mortality
- Improve maternal health
- Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- Ensure environmental sustainability
- Develop a global partnership for development