Popular Chinese teenage star speaks up for youth at UN Forum

Updated 2018-02-01 13:48:00

UNICEF Special Advocate for Education Wang Yuan addresses the audience at the 7th Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum in New York on 31 January, 2018.

Wang Yuan, UNICEF Special Advocate for Education and member of popular music band the TFBoys, addressed a global audience of youth, leaders and development experts before the closing plenary of the 7th Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum held in New York this week.

During his address, Wang Yuan pledged his commitment to promoting quality education and urged young people to contribute their ideas and talents to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and to help build sustainable and resilient communities.

"In my role as UNICEF Special Advocate for Education, I've seen for myself how education is a key factor in building happy, confident and resilient children," said Wang Yuan. He spoke of the importance of using multi-media and social media channels to empower young people to better understand why the SDGs are key to their future and the future of the world.

"As a young artist and a student, I am lucky to have a large following on Chinese social media, in fact I have over 35 million followers. I see it as my duty to use this following for good. I hope that my posts can reach millions of people to draw attention and inspire progress towards universal access to quality education and the achievement of the SDGs."

Wang Yuan joined a delegation of five young people recommended by the United Nations agencies in China to participate in the two-day global forum along with about 500 young leaders from all over the world to debate, share ideas and to help shape a brighter future for all. The delegation's participation was led by the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator for China.

"It is vital that we recognize the role that young people can play as agents of positive change in their communities and globally," said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative to China. "We need to listen to young people and empower them to direct their energy, creativity and aspirations towards the achievement of the SDGs."

The ECOSOC Youth Forum was held at the headquarters of the United Nations and provided a global platform for youth advocates and representatives of youth-led and youth-focused organizations and networks to engage with Member States, and to promote youth development and engagement.

The focus of this year's forum was on policy dialogue and discussions on the role of youth in building sustainable and resilient urban and rural communities.

(Source: UNICEF )

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