​Young people to play active role in shared future

The Global Youth Conference is held via both online and offline channels. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]  

Officials and experts attending a global youth conference over the weekend in Shandong province highlighted the role of young people around the world in tackling a multitude of new challenges faced by humankind to build a global community of development with a shared future.

Centered on the role of the youth in leading the green transition in regional economic development, the two-day conference held by organizers including the Shandong provincial government and the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries covered a wide range of topics, including innovation and entrepreneurship, ecological preservation, green finance and green technology, and international cooperation for a sustainable future. Attendees included young people from more than 40 countries and regions who gathered to share their views.

Erik Solheim, former executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, encouraged young people in the 21st century to use wisdom, compassion and courage-three moral qualities advocated by Confucius-to tackle the crises of climate change, environmental destruction and pollution.

Officials and experts attend the Global Youth Conference in Jinan, capital of Shandong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"Young people can contribute in many ways, by starting a green business, studying an environmental issue, and they can be a green citizen in private life," he said.

To encourage more people to contribute to environmental protection, a cooperation center for China and Pacific Island countries on climate change was established in Shandong last month. The center promotes mutually beneficial cooperation between Shandong and such nations in climate change and in other fields through training, exchanges and academic activities.

To involve more young people, Shandong will provide scholarships for students from those nations who have made achievements in addressing the issue of climate change.

Li Ganjie, Party secretary of Shandong, welcomed young people around the world to share their thoughts in more sectors, including scientific innovation, trade cooperation, cultural exchange, green development and social management.

The province announced 10 projects during the conference to create a supportive platform for youth around the world to find their voice, pool their wisdom and unleash their talent, including a vocational education base to promote research, development and production between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

To date, 47 vocational schools in Shandong have established 16 facilities in nine countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, according to the Shandong Provincial Department of Education.

Shandong welcomes young people around the world to share their thoughts in more sectors. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"With these projects acting as communication platforms, more young people around the world will learn more about Shandong and China," said Sebastian Valcic of Germany. The 34-year-old has worked in the investment promotion department of the Jinan Innovation Zone for over five years.

Kiribati President Taneti Maamau said in a video addressing the conference that he was encouraged by how it provides a space to empower young people so they can take on the mission of our times and contribute to building an inclusive, resilient and sustainable future.



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