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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

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