On May 29th, Chairman Ban Ki-moon sent a video message for the African Union Youth Envoy.
In his message, he stressed the value of global citizenship, multilateralism and compassion to overcome the COVID-19 crisis. The virus has spread across nations, regions, religion, gender, race and class. It has also affected Africa, and the international community ought to provide support for the African countries in need.
“We need generations of citizens who take on the challenges of the world and find local solutions for them in the spirt of global citizenship,” said Chairman Ban. To overcome the challenges of the world, the spirit of global citizens is vital and education plays a primary role in building an interconnected planet.
The scholarship program to empower African Youth is to be held online due to COVID-19. This program and other free online courses by the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens can be useful learning tools.
“We must be united as global citizens and work together to rise beyond this crisis.”
Chairman Ban commended the work of Miss Aya Chhebbi, the Youth Envoy of the AU and her team for her work to address the COVID-19 global crisis. Africa is a continent with a booming potential. The young generations of Africa are showing prominent engagement in handling this global crisis. He urged the global community to continue their efforts to motivate the youth’s action.
Below is the transcript of the video message:
Your Excellency Commissioner
Professor Sarah Anyang Agbor,
Dear African Union Youth Envoy Ms. Aya Chebbi,
Dear Global Citizens of Africa,
Today, the world is faced with a tremendous challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening our health and well-being as well as our current healthcare infrastructures and the global economy.
This virus does not differentiate between our country, region, religion, gender, race, or economic class. It affects us all and requires a unified response.
Countries, both in the global North and South, are working tirelessly to fight the virus and to keep their citizens safe and economies stable.
Global citizenship, multilateralism and compassion are all the same in spirit. If we lack global citizenship and leadership, we cannot have unified solidarity and multilateralism in times of crisis.
In Africa, the virus has spread across the continent in a matter of weeks. Experts warn that the fragile healthcare systems in many African countries could be overwhelmed in the face of a severe outbreak of COVID-19.
The support of the international community is vital for Africa to successfully navigate this pandemic. In this respect, the work of the WHO is a key.
Africa is now approaching its peak of COVID-19 cases and there is a great need for sufficient test-kits and protective gear. Capacity-building should also be made available to Africans to deploy rapid responders. We need generations of citizens who take on the challenges of the world and find local solutions for them in the spirt of global citizenship.
Education about the Sustainable Development Goals is a key to understand the interconnectedness of our planet.
Indeed, Education is one of Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizen’s primary pillars of work.
This year, we were initially scheduled to organize a scholarship program to empower African Youth in coordinating with the University of Bordeaux and RELX Group. However due to COVID-19, we have adapted the program to take place virtually and we hope that it will be possible to meet our scholars and to award them with their certificates in 2021.
The program includes online training on “COVID-19 in Africa: Multidisciplinary Insights,” one-on-one mentoring during the implementation of a “SDG Micro-Project,” and hands on practice on planning and pitching projects to an expert board.
In addition to the scholar program for students from Africa, the Ban Ki-moon Centre offers three free online courses on the SDGs, Global Citizenship, and Gender Equality. We hope that these courses will be helpful learning tools during these uncertain times.
I want to commend Miss Aya Chebbi, the Youth Envoy of the African Union and her team, for her important work for youth and for the initiatives undertaken to address the COVID-19 global crisis.
African Youth have and will continue to play a key role in addressing this global crisis. I am impressed to see the actions that the Office of the African Union Youth Envoy has already taken to engage youth in discussions around COVID-19.
Africa is a booming continent with the biggest young generation we have ever witnessed. The active engagement of young people will be vital to addressing this global crisis.
Let us continue to motivate youth to take action and ensure that boys’ and girls’ rights are protected and enforced strongly and equally.
I urge all of you to continue your dedicated efforts and to remain determined.
We must be united as global citizens and work together to rise beyond this crisis.