UN Summit in Mumbai calls for youth action

November 8th, 2008 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaMumbai, Nov 8 (IANS) “Yes, We Can.” US President-elect Barack Obama’s famous inspiring words resounded at the Mahalaxmi Turf Club, as nearly 300 youngsters from around the world pledged to help create a better world here Saturday.The youngsters are in Mumbai for the inauguration of the Indian chapter of the four-day United Nations Global Millennium Development Goals Summit, under the auspices of World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) and the Indian Federation of United Nations Association (IFUNA).

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Paul Folmsbee, US Consul General in Mumbai advocated the use of video technology and urged the youth from around the world to “come together as friends to tackle the common enemies of the 21st century.”

According to Folmsbee, humanity is confronted by problems such as poverty, hunger, illiteracy, gender inequality, child mortality, HIV-AIDS, malaria and unsustainable development, which the youth could help tackle.

The UN’s National Information Officer (India-Bhutan) Rajiv Chandran presented a congratulatory message from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

According to the UN secretary general: “We face a development emergency as several countries are lagging on the Millenium Development Goals front.” He urged today’s youth - the generation of problem solvers - to come forward and partner with each other for a better future. “The challenge is collaboration, more than confrontation,” he said.

The summit is being conducted in association with Jai Hind College, Mumbai, to raise awareness and initiate action for achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations (UN). The focus of the summit will be to promote the audio-visual medium of film among the youth in order to support the MDGs.

At the summit, the participants will be divided into eight groups, each working on one MDG. They will attend panel discussions and workshops on the MDGs as well as practical sessions on film-making and project development for problem-solving.

At the end of the summit, the participants will create eight 5-minute films - one representing each MDG. The films will then be showcased by WFUNA at an event at the United Nations.

“We feel it is very important to create awareness and promote education in order to eradicate the problems that affect us all at a global level,” said Korean participants, Nam Mi Hyun and Kang Jung Hyun.

Other dignitaries present to lend their support were Fruzsina Molnar, Communication Director of WFUNA, State Education Minister Dilip Valse-Patil, eminent social activist Pheroza Godrej who is also President of Maharashtra United Nations Association and Jai Hind College Director N.W. Shivdasani.

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