“The world cannot afford a lost generation of youth”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres says countries must do more to harness the talents of young people to address the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath.

Generation Unlimited
Secretary-General Records Video Message on Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
21 May 2020

NEW YORK, 27 April 2020 – Speaking before a virtual meeting of the United Nations Security Council, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned the body that young people, and particularly those most vulnerable to insecurity and instability, were facing dire socio-economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The UN Secretary-General, who serves as a co-chair of the Generation Unlimited Leaders group, spoke about how a global learning crisis threatened to undermine long-term prospects for development and social cohesion even before COVID-19, in particular in conflict-affected settings. “Now that crisis is multiplying, coupled with massive increases in poverty and unemployment," Mr. Guterres noted.

United Nations

“The world cannot afford a lost generation of youth, their lives set back by COVID-19 and their voices stifled by a lack of participation.” 

UN Secretary-General António Guterres 

Concluding his remarks to the United Nations Security Council, Mr. Guterres called upon all Member States to take action for young people. “Let us do far more to tap their talents as we tackle the pandemic and chart a recovery that leads to a more peaceful, sustainable and equitable future for all.” 

Read the Secretary-General’s full remarks