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The UN General Assembly President addressed a youthful audience of leaders, activists, and youth organisations, on the "Role of Youth in Achieving Sustainable Development."

Dennis Francis underscored the crucial role of youth in driving sustainable development and securing a better future for all.

The Executive Chairperson of the , Sharonice Busch, opened the summit by highlighting the demographic significance of youth. 

"In Namibia, our demographic is made up of 70 percent of the youth, and in the world, it is made up of more than half the youth population. So if ever there was a time for young people to feature prominently in global discussions focused on the future, it is now."

She submitted that youth make up the majority of both the Namibian and global populations, therefore, there must be a commitment to sustainable development that prioritises youth if the future is to be secured. 

The Deputy Executive Director for Multilateral Relations in the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, Jerobeam Shaanika, echoed similar sentiments, urging the youth to make wise decisions about the future they want to build. 

"As young people, is it the road that is promising to promote social development, , better standard of living, and freedom, or are we going to choose a road that leads to geopolitical contestation and conflict?".

UNGA President Francis stressed the interconnectedness of the Sustainable Development Goals and the vital role of youth in achieving them. 

"Human beings should aspire to inspire others and future generations to be better. It is unacceptable that in the 21st century, while one man can acquire immense wealth, billions of people live in abject poverty and face uncertain lives.".

He further highlighted the historical impact of youth advocacy, urging young Namibians to build bridges and alliances to effect change. 

The event included a question-and-answer session, allowing young attendees to engage directly with the UNGA President, covering a range of topics from technology's role in sustainable development to overcoming barriers to youth participation in governance.

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NBC Digital News

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Daniel Nadunya