Speech by Prime Minister Erna Solberg at an Agenda 2030-event in Mexico City 13 April 2018.
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We meet in this beautiful venue today thanks to the hospitality of The Secretariat of Public Education and Minister Granados.
ImJuve and UNDP have worked hard to bring us all together.
Many of you have travelled here from different parts of Mexico.
We also have the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth here today.
She is here because of the crucial role youth will play in achieving sustainable development.
Young people are the VIPs in this process.
It is great to be here in this huge and vibrant city.
Mexico City strikes me as a young person’s city.
It’s like an urban laboratory – a place where new ideas about city living are arising every day.
One great example is the recent roll out of electric bike stations in the city bike network.
The rest of the world will soon follow suit.
But by then, Mexico will be working on its next innovation.
I understand that you have been discussing sustainable development since noon today.
From what I have seen, Mexico is taking a systematic approach to sustainable development.
Your policies at national and sub-national level reinforce each other.
Both human and finacial resources are needed.
Planning, policies and pesos is the recipe for results.
Like the generations before you, you have inherited challenges.
You face the double challenge of a global shortage of jobs and a growing world population.
The good news is that the 17 Sustainable Development Goals give us a roadmap to help us find our way.
My main message to you – and to young people all over the world – is that:
- You can be the first generation that puts an end to extreme poverty and hunger, and
- you are the last generation that has a chance to prevent irreversible climate change.
I have had many meetings and discussions with young people from all parts of the world – and I am always struck by how innovative and energetic you millennials are.
You are also the most educated generation ever.
Quality education is of course a universal right and a separate SDG.
For individuals like you, education is your most valuable asset as you pursue your personal career ambitions.
For societies – indeed for the world as a whole – education, science and innovation will be crucial for solving the major challenges of our time.
You are the first generation to grow up with smartphones and WiFi.
I believe this is one of the reasons you look for opportunities in situations where the older generations can’t see a way forward.
This is why I think young people today have a key role to play in finding sustainable solutions.
One of the greatest challenges is the rapid population growth we are seeing in parts of the world.
This will make it harder to feed, house, heat, cool, educate and employ the world’s population, while protecting our environment and climate at the same time.
We need innovative and sustainable solutions that:
- have national and local ownership,
- encourage investment and create business friendly conditions,
- ensure that globalisation, digitisation and automation benefit all, and, not least,
- create decent jobs on a massive scale.
I am confident that you, together with youth all over the world, have what it takes to solve the challenges of our time.
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will be crucial for all future generations.
It will take hard work, innovation and cooperation across continents.
Failing is not an option.
Success will define your generation.