World / Europe

Young generation can put end to poverty, climate change: UNESCO chief

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-05-06 21:30

BRATISLAVA -- Today's young people are the first generation that can put an end to extreme poverty and the last that can resolve climate change, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a lecture at Comenius University here on Friday.

She described the young generation as the most traveled, educated and open-minded as well as one that carries the heaviest burden of transformation.

Bokova stressed that around 1.5 billion people currently live in conflict-stricken areas, of which 40 percent are young people. There are also as many as 73 million youngsters that are unemployed.

The UNESCO chief stated: "We're witnessing the destruction of cultural heritage as well as a new global fight for the hearts and minds of mostly young people."

"When our planet and resources are being depleted, we can tap into the renewable energy of the human mind," said Bokova.

Bokova became UNESCO's tenth director-general on Nov. 15, 2009, making her the first woman and the first Eastern European to head the agency. In February, Bokova was named as Bulgaria's official candidate for the post of UN secretary general.

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