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Global Youth Leadership Summit 28.-31.10.2006, New York

Tässä teille pitämäni puhe Nykissä täkäläistä aikaa sunnuntaiaamuna. Puheen osalta voin sanoa, että siitä valtaosa osa on runoiltu lennolla Helsigistä JFK:lle, loput lauantai-iltana ja Suomen valtion viralliset tahot eivät ole sitä nähneet ennen sen pitämistä, joten vastuu virheistä ja latteuksista on jotakuinkin yksin minun.

Antton Rönnholm
Global Youth Leadership Summit Oct 29th 2006, New York

Spoken word prevails

Chairperson, Your Excellencies, Cherés collegues, Dear FriendsI

It would be difficult to override the expertise of the previous speakers and the energy that Barbara brought to this assembly, but I will say a few words about the challenges that we face in adopting the Millenium Development Goals, still first and foremost I want speak to you about values. The European Youth Leadership Summit adopted in its declaration in Vienna earlier this year: In order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals we have to address questions of youth employment, education, raise the level the official development aid to the level recommended by the United Nations and non the less monitor the implementation of the commitments made, just to mention few of the areas addressed.

According to the to the IMF economic outlook the mere halving of the youth unemployment would increase the GDP for example in Sub Saharan Africa from 12-20 percent. Halving it in the whole world would increase the global GDP by 4 to 7 percent. In order to ensure that the youth of tomorrow is able to work, education is needed. This can be in the form of apprentice learning, encouraging entrepreneurship or a platform provided by the government on the internet to help the youth to choose their future occupation. In any case the transition period after school is essential as it can lead to permanent work or permanent unemployment. We should take special care of the immigrant youth, educate our teachers, offer a school dinner both to encourage school participation and to teach the children a healthy lifestyle. Education correlates strongly with future prospects of work and should be considered as a priority number one.

As UNFPA report Moving Young states, countries with aging populations benefit from young migrants. If youth is defined as people up to 29 years of age, they would make half of the migrants in the world, in other words half of the 191 million people moving in 2005. The issue of international migration and its linkage to development is a central concern. The EU has welcomed the UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development and the CSW session on this topic. Sufficient and accessible legal channels for the migration of women and youth need to be ensured, to avoid them being pushed into more risky illegal channels. We need increased attention to the elimination of violence and human trafficking.

I feel very proud to be given the possibility to address this assembly today. Last time I provided a speech from this very podium was last year as the youth representative of Finland to 60th UN General Assembly. Does your country have a youth representative? The possibility for youth to participate in decision making is crucial and the only ones to advocate youth participation are the young people themselves.


Gender equality, as well as women's empowerment more generally, is an essential prerequisite for achieving the the Millennium Development Goals and peace and security in the world. Discriminatory practices, traditional and stereotyped attitudes have not changed at the pace in which the economical globalisation has changed the world. When addressing this gap between attitudes and economic reality we should pay special attention to the eradication of violence against women and girls, to education, to sensitization and to the need to involve men and boys in the implementation of our commitments.

There is growing evidence that the greater involvement of women in the labour market, business and politics is also associated with lower levels of corruption and better governance. Promotion of women's participation in all levels of decision-making, especially in economic decision-making, should be seen as a key issue for the improvement of global democracy. A large body of evidence from a range of countries indicates that gender inequalities undermine the effectiveness of development policies in fundamental ways. (Many international reports state that much of the remarkable economic growth in East-Asia is due to women's possibilities of finishing their education and participating in the labour market. Every additional year at school lowers child mortality by 5-10 percent.)

No community, nation or a country can afford to waste the immense talent of women or any other group in the society. Finland is country which received financial assistance from the United Nations as late as in the 1950's, a country where agriculture was the main employer at that time and a country very much affected by the II world war. At the moment Finland enjoys the position of being one of the most affluent countries in the world and can be found on top the competitiveness comparisons. What happened in fifty years? The story of the country where I come from is a story of the power of equality. It is the story of the first female President in Finland: Ms. Halonen, still holding office, grew up in modest surroundings but was offered the chance educate herself, to become a lawyer, a mother, minister for foreign affairs and a first female president for Finland.

In spite of considerable advances made, gender discrimination due to inequalities with regard to rights, resources and voice persists in all countries. Societies discriminating their members on the basis of gender, ethnicity, social status, religion, sexuality, AGE, pay a significant price in terms of higher poverty, lower quality of life and slower economic growth and development. The costs of gender inequality are particularly significant in low-income countries, affecting mostly the poorest. New values with a crystal clear view on more equality are needed. For my country enhancing gender equality, providing free education and a small thing such as free school meals have been of crucial importance. I thank the office for Sports and Development for shoving an excellent example by inviting a young woman and man from each country. In addition to the thanks we have directed to the Secretary General and director Diallo, I would like us to give an warm applause to all the volunteers who have made this event possible – thank you!


Dear friends,

I believe that The Global Youth Leaders Summit will further educate us youth leaders on the MDG's and inspire our work towards achievement of the goals through improving living standards and empowering our local communities. (We will build an international partnership, working together with governments, NGO's, and the private sector.) This summit also builds upon the efforts and progress made by the previous regional youth leadership summits: We haven't forgotten that developing voluntary sports in the grass root level and promoting sports to enhance healthier lifestyles is extremely important. We haven't forgotten the role of the sports in conflict prevention and promoting peace. Learning the positive values through sport has a long lasting impact on young people: Values like fair play are most important in our pursuit to achieve the Millenium Development goals.

I personally feel that the corrosion of character, a definition illustrating the lack of mutual assistance, solidarity or lasting values is the only real threat to the achievement of the MDG's. If there is will, there is a way to overcome the economic obstacles. Values act as guidelines. No one in our societies can claim that the culture that shapes our values and the world would be the property of only some of us. That the values would be the property of only the ones who enjoy political power at the moment and those values could be sculpted just to maintain the political status quo.

In a genuinely free society, (– and I am not referring to the neoliberal freedom to succeed or starve, but the genuine freedom to live and prosper as human being – ) in a genuinely free world values belong to no one and everyone. Values like equality in its different forms are ours to cherish and to implement. The Millenium Develoment goals are at reach. The world needs new values and we are here to take them with us home to be implemented in our countries and societies.

Thank you for your attention.


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Vuosikymmenestä toiseen Suomen eduskuntavaaleissa on ollut vain kysymys siitä, että äänestetään yhdelle puolueelle uudet hallituskumppanit. Tuo tosiasia on vaikuttanut äänestysaktiivisuuteenkin kielteisesti. Äänestysaktiivisuus on laskenut vaali vaalilta. Ihmiset eivät viitsi äänestää, koska vuosikymmenestä toiseen järjestetään vain näennäisvaalit.

Maailmassa on ainoastaan muutama valtio, missä yksi puolue on ollut pitempään hallitusvallassa kuin Suomessa. Nämä valtiot ovat aakkosjärjestyksessä: Kiina, Kuuba, Myanmar, Pohjois-Korea ja Vietnam.

Euroopan ennätys Suomella jo on. Suomi tavoitelee kyseenalaista ME:tä tällä alalla.

Kuka kehtaa kertoa jollekin ulkomaalaisille minkälainen puolidemokratia Suomessa on. Kansa on erittäin hyvin koulutettua, mutta ei ole näkevinään mitään outoa siinä, että sama puolue on hallitusvallassa koko ajan vaaleista toiseen. Viimeisin yhtäjaksoinen rupeama on jo kestänyt yli 30 vuotta. Sitäkin ennen pienin poikkeuksin koko ajan vuodesta ja vaaleista toiseen.


Borat vitsailee muka "kaukaisesta" ja "kehittymättömästä" Kazakstanista, vaikka Kazakstan on lähempänä Stadingradia kuin Espanja, jossa sentään vaalien seurauksena voi vaihtua koko hallitus toisin kuin Suomessa.

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