On International Youth Day, I am moved more than ever by the powerful voice of the 1.2 billion young people across the globe who are boldly taking a stand in calling for the protection of the right to education. This year’s theme of mental health reminds us of the need for inclusion of every single child in the reaching her or his full potential through education, particularly those with disabilities and the 28 million out-of-school children living in conflict areas in need of education and psycho-social support.
From global vigils held in support of the Chibok girls to the Youth Takeover of the African Union, over the past several months young people have been the unrelenting voice delivering the message that they will not longer be denied opportunity. In my role as the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, I am continually inspired by the courage of these young girls and boys who continue to demand their right to education, even in the face of great personal risk.
As we begin our final 500-day push to fulfill our promise of universal education, I look forward to working with young people and the UN Special Envoy for Youth as we support our future leaders by ensuring that every child has the opportunity to go to school and realize her or his true potential.