Committed to connecting the world

ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

Speech by ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré 

 BYND 2015 Global Youth Summit

Closing Dialog

 11 September 2013, San José , Costa Rica

Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,

This has been such an amazing experience. The energy and creativity and brainpower that you have brought to this Summit, here in Costa Rica, online and through the many hubs working hard around the world, has been simply incredible.

Working together you have produced a declaration that speaks clearly to world leaders and identifies what you want addressed and provides guidance on how to address the issues that you believe are most relevant in the post-2015 world we want.

It is our commitment to you that we will deliver this to the United Nations and seize the opportunities to champion it constantly with all the relevant stakeholders from the world of business, academia, media and civil society. We will work hard to ensure that the voice of young people is increasingly influential in providing leadership in the development of global development policy.

The purpose of the UN, and documents like this, is to provide an overarching framework which countries can use to guide their national policy or initiatives. This document provides a base so that countries have the mandate to implement specific actions. My colleague Ahmed Alendawi, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General and I will continue to work together with all partners and member states to ensure the impact of the work you have done here will flourish and grow. This is the opportunity for me to also express to my brother Ahmed my appreciation for his active cooperation throughout this process.

Dear participants you have grasped this opportunity to have your voices heard and to propose countless ideas. The vast amount of ideas could never have been captured in a short statement for world leaders but we will ensure that these ideas find the right audience and supporters and we will continue to engage with you to realize this vision that you have created together.

Your enthusiasm and energy has in turn energized me and will energize the ITU. I celebrated my birthday last week but thanks to you I am returning home a younger man.

Dear friends you have been challenging us all week here, it is now my turn to challenge you all.  I first declare you Ambassadors of ITU for the empowerment of youth in ICT.  As ambassadors, I expect you to go out there and take this enthusiasm into your homes, into your class rooms, into your schools, into your work places, into your communities and into your social networks. Then come back to us, and let’s work together to make this place a better place for you and for humankind!

I would like to finish by thanking our many partners who have worked with us to make this possible and who will continue to work with us as we move your agenda forward together.

I would especially like to thank our hosts and co-organizers of this Summit, the government of Costa Rica and extend my heartfelt thanks to Her Excellency, President Laura Chinchilla for her leadership and commitment to young people. The hospitality you and the people of Costa Rica have shown us in your stunningly beautiful country leaves us with inspiration and wonderful memories for a lifetime.

I would like thank my staff for their dedication and tireless efforts. I would also like to thank the Interns who worked along with the ITU team.  You made this Summit!  You have made me very proud. Without your amazing dedication, creativity and work ethic none of this would have been possible.  You have shown us that our future is in truly capable, talented and safe hands. Congratulations and thank you!

We were also privileged to be here during two qualifying games involving Costa Rica and we celebrated together with you last night as you secured your place at the World Cup finals next year in Brazil. There are many of us here who will not have a national team present and we will be cheering on Costa Rica as your new adopted supporters around the world.

Finally, I want to extend my sincere thanks to you, the young people of BYND2015. This is your summit, these are your outcomes and this is a Movement which you have created. A movement that I am sure will become stronger and stronger and which I am here to support and promote throughout the world.

Thank You. Muchas Gracias.