Israt Jahan Punom :: On 2 October 2013, the world’s large youth summit “One Young World Summit 2013” kicked off with an elaborate opening ceremony at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa, while talks will begin and continue into the weekend at the Sandton Convention Centre.
The One Young World Summit 2013 will tackle, as before, social issues such as education, youth unemployment and role of global business. The summit being held from 2-5 October is being attended by 1,300 youth young leaders from 190 Countries, including a ten member delegation from Bangladesh.
At the opening ceremony, key note speeches were delivered by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Sir Bob Geldof.
Professor Muhammad Yunus in his keynote said that a new goal for the international community should be to eradicate global poverty by 2030. He has described the present generation of young people as the most powerful generation in history because of their grip on communication and information technology.
“When Kofi Annan and the UN declared the Millennium Development Goals in 2 000 – people laughed and said they were crazy, they didn’t believe you can reduce poverty, but when Bangladesh announced it had achieved the number one goal to reduce poverty by half in 2013, you know it has been serious goal after all. This new was significant news because BBangladesh was labeled as a basket case at its birth,” he said.
The opening ceremony attended by 8,000 young people at stadium was also addressed by singer and poverty activist Bob Geldof. The ceremony was attended by many leaders and celebrities like, Ahmed Kathrada, lifelong comrade of Nelson Mandela who suffered jail sentence along with Mandela for 26.5 years, Sir Richard Branson, German tennis super star Boris Becker, and many other luminaries.
Summit’s co-founders David Jones and Kate Robertson welcomed the delegates during the colorful flag-laying ceremony where delegates of participating countries presented their countries’ flags to the One Young World Counsellors, symbolizing that world coming together to work towards positive change.
The Summit will continue until Saturday after a whirlwind of panels, plenary sessions and workshops that will address education; global business; human rights; leadership & government; sustainable development, and youth unemployment.
One Young World Summit 2013 is being held for the first time in Africa, following previous years in London, Zurich and Pittsburgh. Dublin has been announced as host city of One Young World Summit for 2014.