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Young people ask UN for greater action on 75th anniversary

A Dutch delegation will present the ‘Hague Youth Manifesto’ to the UN on its 75th anniversary on behalf of young people worldwide, calling for greater solidarity, a permanent seat at the table and more action on inequality and climate change.

On Saturday 24 October 2020, the 75th anniversary of the United Nations will be commemorated with an online event live from the Peace Palace in The Hague. UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake will launch the dialogue, entitled ‘Shaping Our Future Together’, with introductory video messages. Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stef Blok, and the President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Abdulqawi A. Yusuf, will give speeches, before the President is presented with the ‘Hague Youth Manifesto’.

The ‘Hague Youth Manifesto’ is a response to UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ call for youth to continue to make their voices heard and is in line with Sustainable Development Goal 16 to ‘Promote peace, justice and strong institutions’. On the occasion of the UN’s 75th anniversary, young people want to make their voices heard in international policy decisions in the future. Young people across the world provided input for the manifesto, which was drafted by Dutch students with the support of Professor of United Nations Studies, Alanna O’Malley, as well as the various organisations involved.

Youth representatives worldwide felt it was fitting to name the manifesto after The Hague, which is globally recognised as the international city of peace and justice and where thousands of people work each day towards creating a better world.

The manifesto will be presented at the Peace Palace by Dutch UN Youth Representative Mert Kumru and five students from Dalton Den Haag, ROC Mondriaan, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Leiden University and the United Nations University – MERIT. The students will hold a dialogue with President Yusuf and Minister Blok. On behalf of all young people, they will call for action against inequality and climate change as well as greater solidarity and a permanent seat at the table at the UN.

Peace Palace lit up in blue 

The event will also include a performance as part of the #UnitedMusic75 challenge by Dutch harpist Lavinia Meijer and Freedom Ambassador for The Hague, Leila Prnjavorac. Mayor of The Hague, Jan van Zanen, will make a closing speech. The Peace Palace will then be lit up in blue, as part of the ‘Turn Europe UN Blue’ campaign. By participating in this global campaign, the Netherlands – one of the founding member states of the UN – will symbolically express its support for the Organisation’s goals and ideals regarding human rights, peace and sustainable development.

The event is open to everyone via livestream from 5.30 pm at https://www.youtube.com/user/haguetalks.

The online dialogue is organised by the Hague Project Peace and JusticeHague TalksHague Manifesto and #UnitedMusic75 are projects of this network organisation. The dialogue ‘Shaping our Future together’ is supported by the International Court of Justicethe United Nations Regional Information Centre, the Chair of UN Studies, United Nations University – MERIT and RNW Media.

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