Guterres sees hope in youth against challenges of nationalism

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres meets with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt in Cairo

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed his hope that the world´s youth will provide a response to the current challenges of nationalism in the world.

In a speech, yesterday, at Cairo University Mr. Guterres  said that there was a growing divorce between public opinion and governments and  the political establishments and that “ in many circumstances we see referenda that are always won by the most extreme positions.”  He took Brexit as an example of a generation gap when it comes to facing global challenges.   

“When one looks at the pattern of votes, for instance in the Brexit referendum, it is very interesting to note that the young people voted more largely against Brexit than the older generations, which, to a certain extent creates a paradox,  as in many situations, the older generations are defining the future of the younger generations.”

 The Secretary-General said that today there is a trend for societies to be closed on themselves and that nationalism was on the rise.                                                                                     

“We do not see the expression in young peoples of the forms of xenophobia, or intolerance, or racism that are unfortunately now prevailing in many of our societies,” Mr. Guterres said  in his speech Wednesday.  “We see young people reacting to this with new forms of interaction and solidarity and it is why I hope that new generations will be able to do what the present generation has not been able to do, to strengthen a democratic multilateral governance mechanism in order to allow for peace to prevail in our world.