by Vivek Sud on Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 2:56pm Dear Mr. Chairman, respected delegates, members of the youth wing of Zhas Otan, ladies and gentlemen; it is indeed my privilege to have been given the opportunity to put forward my views on the importance of the youth of Europe and Asia being the resource pool that will be the foundation of the continuity for Eurasian integration.
Before I begin, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for Ms. Dana Sabi, a dedicated member of our host, the Zhas Otan, whose dedicated and diligent hard work has ensured my presence here. Thank you very much, Dana, for the patience, warmth and affection you displayed in the last two weeks. I would also like to thank Asset, Dinara and Timur for making sure that my stay in this beautiful city, the capital of Kazakhstan, is memorable and comfortable.
Mr. Chairman, in my opening remarks, I would like to point out that no one in this esteemed gathering can doubt the role played by the two great continents, Europe and Asia, in bringing the modern day world where it stands today. Sadly, I would like to point out, that these contributions have not been parallel but one after the other. A fact that no one can challenge is that the ancient civilizations of India and China, are the foundation blocks of our present society. Both have made unparalleled contributions in the fields of science, technology, medicine, and religion. India and China had enjoyed a dominant position in the field of international commerce. At one time, their combined share in international commerce compared to the position presently occupied by the United States, the European Union and Japan put together. Asia is the birthplace of all the major religions of the world: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Zoroastrianism. The people of this great continent have witnessed and withstood some of the greatest tragedies that mankind has had to suffer.
In the same breadth, ladies and gentlemen, we cannot ignore the contributions of Europe to this world. It is a well known fact that the post Renaissance Europe led the world by capitalizing on its gains made by the onset of the Industrial Revolutions which brought about major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transport. The Industrial Revolutions, as we all know, had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions prevailing in the world. As Europe harvested the benefits of the Industrial Revolutions, the twin tragedies of the two World Wars also struck it in its heart; almost bleeding the entire continent to a stage that pain and suffering became a household name. But Europeans, resilient as they are, endured and moved on towards a better future.
My fellow delegates, time has now come that these two great continents of this world work together and in tandem, to continue their march forward and secure a better tomorrow not just for themselves; but for the entire mankind. It is the duty and responsibility of our generation, the future leaders of our countries, to make this happen otherwise it will be considered as a betrayal.
We have seen from the success of the European Union how diverse nations can come together and work towards a common goal. The European Union has grown from a six member organization covering the commercial aspects involving coal and steel in Europe to a 25 member bloc covering almost every aspect of human well being; education, culture, and security, just to name a few. There is no reason why such a pattern cannot be followed by countries of two different continents. After all, Europe and Asia are the only two continents in this world that are joined at the hips like conjoined twins that may have two separate bodies, but one common heart. My fellow delegates, all of us who are present here in this esteemed gathering, have to make this common heart beat towards the achievement of one common goal – and that is eradication of the twin evils of poverty and illiteracy from the face of these two continents.
We have at this moment organizations like the European Union, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Association of South East Nations, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization but there is no single entity or organization that covers the common interests of Eurasia. I would urge the youth leaders of the countries present here to support my call for setting up an Eurasian organization that will form a common agenda and a common secretariat with the European Union and bring about a true and total Eurasian integration.
The younger generation of these two continents will play an ever important role in making such integration a reality. It is us who will be the ultimate benefactors of this monumental achievement. Why you may ask will the youth play an important role? There is no denying the fact that the technological achievements in the past few years have brought an everlasting change in the world we live in. It is my firm belief that our understanding of such technological innovations, which we share with no other generation, will help us shed archaic inhibitions and work faster towards bringing everybody closer to our stated common goal.
In an attempt to emphasis the role we can play in shaping the future, I would like to point out that with the help of technology, so much information is available at our fingertips that relying on the experience of age is no longer a requirement for informed decision making. The current President of the United States and winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for Peace, Mr. Barack Obama, is only 47 years old. The current Prime Minister of Thailand, Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva is only 45 years old. A former President of the United States, Mr. Bill Clinton was only 46 years old when he assumed office and Mr. Tony Blair, the Former Prime Minister of Great Britain was only 44 years old when he became the Prime Minister. In my own country, India, the state of Jammu and Kashmir; which is internationally acknowledge to be a troubled region and is considered one of the places in the world over which a nuclear war can start, is ruled by Mr. Omar Abdullah, who is only 39 years old. No one can deny the fine job he is doing in administering the state. In the recently concluded elections to the lower house of the Indian Parliament, we have elected 79 members out of a total of 453, who are under 40 years of age and at least 4 of these newly elected members are ministers in the Government of India. The face of global politicians and politics is changing in the favour of our own demographic.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to say that there is no denying the fact that younger leaders make better visionaries because they have the advantage of time on their side. It is the younger leaders who have the ability to absorb shocks to their plans and still continue to move forward. Such an unparalleled advantage will always form the foundation of continuity if any meaningful Eurasian integration is to be accomplished.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
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