UN chief stresses empowering youth to lead global progress


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today commemorated the fifth anniversary of the UN Academic Impact and lauded the contributions made by the initiative in providing the world with ideas for some of its most pressing problems.

“Over the past five years, I have been impressed by the growth of the Academic Impact and the dedication of its staff,” said Mr. Ban in his address delivered by Chef de Cabinet, Susana Malcorra at the event commemorating the Anniversary.

“What started as just an idea has now become a well-established network of more than 1,000 institutions in more than 120 countries. Collectively, their field of study covers every issue on the international agenda,” added Mr. Ban.

The UN Academic Impact was launched on November 18th 2010 by Mr. Ban and the late Mr. J. Michael Adams, the President of Fairleigh Dickinson University.

This year, the Academic Impact is meeting on ‘The next generation of global citizens’ and Mr. Ban stressed that the UN is “giving urgent priority” to empowering the youth to help them lead global efforts for progress.

Mr. Ban noted that as the international community begins to carry out the 2030 Agenda and make good on the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals, the contributions made by the Academic Impact gains greater importance.

“In adopting this bold vision for a new future, leaders specifically said the journey would involve the academic community,” said Mr. Ban.

Further, he also applauded the academic community for its vital role in raising awareness of the science behind climate change.

“As governments prepare to meet in Paris for the UN climate change conference that aims to achieve a new global agreement, we are asking all partners to help the world transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Mr. Ban commending the academic community for formulating creative responses to fossil fuels that protect our planet while boosting the economy.

The UN chief also lauded the efforts made by the Academic Impact in bridging generations through its student organization ASPIRE or Action by Students to Promote Innovation and Research through Education and other initiatives.

“That generational span – the harmony of experience and exuberance – represents what the United Nations Academic Impact initiative is all about: bringing the hopes and expectations of our global organization together with the unparalleled intellectual power of academia and the energy of youth to generate solutions to today’s problems,” declared the Secretary-General.