Climate change can crush the youth, says UN chief

August 13th, 2009 - 11:35 am ICT by IANS  

By Betwa Sharma
United Nations, Aug 13 (IANS) Young men and women are being adversely impacted by climate change and rising unemployment, UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has said in a statement marking International Youth Day.

“Climate change,” he said, “continues to compromise economies and threaten tremendous upheaval, saddling young people everywhere with an unjust ecological debt.”

“This is a potentially crushing burden,” he stressed Wednesday.

Ban also noted that youth unemployment would continue to rise because of the financial crisis, and the situation remained particularly grave in the developing world.

“For them, informal, insecure and low-wage employment is the norm, not the exception,” he said.

There are more than 1.5 billion people between the ages of 10 and 25, the largest-ever youth generation. In 1999, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution making Aug 12 as International Youth Day, to highlight youth-related issues. This year’s theme is “sustainability”.

The secretary general noted the contributions made by the young people to the debate on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The UN chief called on them to “lead by example” in “practicing green and healthy lifestyles, or promoting innovative uses of new technologies, such as mobile devices and on-line social networks”.

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