International Youth Day, August 12, 2012
Secretary of State
There are more than three billion people under the age of 30. Young people represent a growing class who are yearning to have their voices heard. But in too many places around the world, the needs and concerns of young women and men continue to be marginalized. Countries are failing to provide young people with the chance to realize even their most basic aspirations. Their political will has too often been suppressed. Yet they are inextricably tied to the problems we all face, from security issues and the economy to changes in governments and society.
We have all witnessed over the last two years that youth are shaping the political landscape of their countries. I have seen young people driving innovations and economic and social entrepreneurship in every region of the world. I believe the best solutions to our shared challenges will come from harnessing the energy and creativity of youth.
As we celebrate the achievements of young people, it is incumbent on the leaders of today – in politics, civil society, the private sector, academia, and scientific fields – to mentor and to cultivate the next generation. It is only through partnership that we can equip young people with the skills, resources, and networks they need, while also empowering them to be agents of change in their communities. The United States stands with young people everywhere as we work to build a brighter future together.