This is a good time to be a youth. These are no longer the days where young people can be relegated to the sidewalks of global events. This is not the time to be unaware of times and their seasons. This is 2020. This is the year everyone and every effort must count towards a world free from hunger, hate and horror.
The Sustainable Development Goals are the actions plans for our day. They are the objectives worth reaching. They are the targets worth meeting. With 17 goals and 169 targets, we have a picture of the future. We have the blueprints of a better world. We have the baton for the race. The race to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
This is the time for cooperation, collaboration, and communication. This is the day adults must teach the young ones to fight the fight of freedom from fear. This is the time to arm every youth with weapons of tolerance, armory of good, and ammunitions for peace. This is the day every young person must have a part to play.
We are the largest generation of young people ever to exist at one time. This is the day where we have more than 3 billion people under the age of 24 years. This is the time where technology is at the fore of global developments. This is the age of social media, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. This is the day where young people can call the shots via technology. This is the time where it makes sense to catch us young in the pursuit for global peace and prosperity.
The world can no longer continue with practices of age-old times. We must live in today for tomorrow, and not yesterday. Yesterday, they said the young shall grow. Today, the young have grown. We have grown to see the conflicts and wars in communities, groups, and nations. We have grown to experience hunger and deprivation. We have grown to witness the depletion of natural resources, deforestation, and climate change. Indeed, we have grown. We are older and wiser. This is the time they talked about yesterday. It is our time, today.
Today, it is the right of young people to participate in decisions, institutions and processes that affect their lives. Today, it is the right of young people to have their right of say. Today, it is time to encourage and embrace youth participation for change. Today presents a time where every Nation must shift from a position of exclusion to the notion of inclusion of young people in public dialogue and processes that set developments in motion. Today is our day.
A day where the energy and creative ability of every young person is put to good use. A day where a young voice with a novel idea can change the shape of sustainable development. A day where many young people are ready to sign up for change. Today is that day, our day. Welcome to this day.