COPENHAGEN – The world’s children and young people must be at the center of development, according to Pernille Fenger, UNFPA Nordic Office Chief. Ms Fenger was speaking on behalf of the United Nations System to a Global Esperanto Congress: Esperanto, the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language, was developed in the 19th century to help people communicate between countries.
Ms. Pernille Fenger, UNFPA Nordic Office Chief, speaks to the Congress.
“An investment in the world’s young women and men is an investment in the world’s future,” Ms Fenger said in her keynote speech on joint United Nations efforts to improve the lives and health of young people. “Out of 7 billion people [which the world population will reach this year], 1.8 billion are children and youth, which represents the largest youth generation ever. 90 percent of them live in developing countries.”
The Congress, Universalan Kongreson en Esperanto, was held in the Danish capital from July 23-30. Some 1,600 participants from 70 countries focused on youth and highlighted the importance of women’s rights and reproductive health.
“To build a future for the world’s children and young people is about making sure that they don’t go hungry to bed, that they receive necessary vaccinations, go to school and are free from violence,” Ms Fenger said. “Young people must also have access to sexuality and health education. For women between 15-19 years in developing countries, the most common death cause is in relation to pregnancy and child birth.”
Ms Fenger was one of the few non-Esperanto speakers but closed her speech in the universal language: “En la nomo de Unuiĝintaj Nacioj en Kopenhago mi deziras al vi fruktodonan kaj sukcesan kongreson.”