Your Chance to be Heard at the United Nations Security Council

Are you 21 or younger? Keep reading. The United States is setting the agenda for the United Nations Security Council during the month of December, and Ambassador Susan Rice wants to bring your voice into one of the world’s most important decision-making bodies. From December 2-14, you have a chance to call attention to an issue that you care about. What’s the most vital challenge to international peace and security facing your generation? Send your answer in a one-minute video or in written form to youth@state.gov, keeping your submission to fewer than 250 words. If selected, your answer will become a topic of debate at an innovative Security Council event that will be hosted by Ambassador Rice and broadcast live on December 21 at www.un.org/webcast

For many around the world, the Security Council chamber is the most influential venue for issues that affect international peace and security. Since its first session in 1946, the Council has investigated threats to peace, imposed sanctions, and authorized the use of armed force “to maintain or restore international peace and security,” fulfilling its unique mandate under the UN Charter. Nearly anyone who is tuned in to current events would recognize its well-known semicircular table, which has played host to some of the most consequential debates of the last half century.

But few often note the incredible impact that the Council’s decisions have on youth. Young people represent nearly half the total population and an even larger share of its least developed regions, the places that are most prone to instability and conflict. According to a 2009 UN report, the median age in the world’s least developed nations is 20 years old. Simply put, the Council’s actions are more likely to affect youth. The United States steadfastly believes that young people deserve to be heard.

That’s where you come in. Complete instructions and terms and conditions of participation are available at www.usun.state.gov/youth. Write to us at youth@state.gov if you have any questions.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Alex McPhillips is Press Officer at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations

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