Our beloved Uncle Ho wrote in his letter to young people and children nationwide on the occasion of 1946 Lunar New Year that: "A year starts from its spring. A life begins with the youth. The youth is the spring of society ". Do you think spring is the most beautiful season? Do you agree with me that spring is as fun as Tet? It is full of energy and enthusiasm. Young leaves grow. Birds sing song. Flowers bloom. You are students of the "9x" generation who grew with Rio Conference. In the audience today, most of you are 20 years’ old. We as the older generation have a great honor to speak to you and discuss with you the future! As you know, the Earth Summit, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. Leaders and key groups representing people- including children, teenagers and youth- came together to discuss the agenda of the 21st century for sustainable development.
Twenty years after, Rio+20 Conference, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this June. It is a historic opportunity to define a path for a world which is safer, more just, cleaner, greener and more prosperous. Rio+20 is an opportunity to change common tasks, take actions to eliminate poverty, deal with issues of environmental destruction and build a bridge towards the future. Yes, you arrive at Rio+20 not to discuss but act together towards sustainable development. We understand that sustainable development can only be realised if proper attention is paid to economy, society and environment and the seventh millennium development goal to ensure environmental sustainability is achieved. There is no sustainable development if the ecosystem we live in and rely on degrades, environment pollution continues and biodiversity declines. What should we do to attain sustainability, develop a green economy with low carbon and enhance our resilience against changes? How can we develop to "meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"? What should we do to live "greener" and in better harmony with the ecosystem and environment surrounding us? What type of shared future do all we, humanity, want? These questions have been raised by many young people around the world in two websites http://futurewewant.org/ and http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=117.
You are invited to join and bring in your initiatives and actions in your living and studying areas to change the world for a future we want.
I am extremely grateful to teachers of Faculty of Urban Environment, University of National Economics, Centre for Development Community of Initiative and Environment (C&E), Department of Science, Education and Natural Resources under Ministry of Planning and Investment (DSENRE- MPI) for creating a playground for the youth towards Rio+20 in Vietnam and organising activities towards the future we want.
I sincerely wish distinguished teachers, distinguished guests and students good health, happiness and success and wish we all a bright future!
Do Thi Huyen, Programme Analyst, Biodiversity and Climate Change, United Nations Development Programme.