Young people attending a United Nations (U.N.) conference in Costa Rica have called on world leaders to "support innovation and technology as methods to advance broader development, drive positive change and bring citizens closer to their Governments." Around 700 young people attended the three-day BYND 2015 Global Youth Summit, convened by the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in San José. Over 3,000 others followed the conference online and contributed their ideas from 43 hubs or workshops in 25 different countries using social media channels.
"Young people, perhaps more than anyone, understand how ICTs can help make a difference in people's lives. In recent years we have seen how youth-driven social media platforms can help disseminate ideas and generate momentum for change," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message to the Summit.
Participants at the Summit urged Governments across the world, to provide more flexible, dynamic and open means of governance.
The key to a successful development paradigm is innovation. The participants called on governments to build education systems that equipped students with not just theoretical knowledge, but also marketable, innovative and relevant skills needed to compete in the global digital economy.
The conference dealt upon the role of information communication technologies (ICTs) in improving health care, environment protection, disaster preparedness and recovery, across the world.
"Young people nurtured in a world of technological innovation have demonstrated at BYND 2015 that ICTs are the driving force to meet future sustainable development goals," said the Secretary-General of the ITU, Hamadoun Touré.
"Their engagement in the Global Youth Summit - the hundreds who made the journey to Costa Rica, and the thousands who connected from remote hubs around the world - ensures their inclusion in the most important decisions of the 21st century. After all, today's youth will inherit the world tomorrow. And they will be our future leaders."
The BYND 2015 Youth Declaration drawn up at the summit was presented to the President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla, who will take its message to the General Assembly later in Sept.
The BYND2015 Global Youth Summit is an initiative of the ITU, seeking to get young people involved in the shaping of the post-2015 development agenda, the U.N. news release said.
According to the ITU over 1,000 ideas were generated on the online platform of the conference where youth from across the world, voted and gave comments.
The news release also said, tens of thousands of people joined the conversation via social media with a combined reach on the micro blogging platform Twitter of over 16 million. The online conversation took place in 74 languages. Education, health and access to ICTs ranked as the highest trending topics.
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