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Patrons and Special Voices 2013

Young People using Internet and Mobiles to put the UN MDGs into Action

“Young people were the favorite allies of the UN Millennium Campaign: passionate, energetic and thinking outside the box. Using internet and mobiles to achieve the Millennium Development Goals was certainly beyond the frame of mind of government leaders who agreed to these Goals… Tomorrow’s world is defined by action today. So some 20 years from now, when your generation will provide the Secretary General of the UN, she does not need to report once again that the Millennium Goals have not been met as yet. Your action prevented these Goals to end up as litter on yet another boulevard of broken dreams…”

Eveline Herfkens, Founder of the UN Millennium Campaign

“I wish to congratulate each of the young social entrepreneurs who have taken part in the European Youth Award 2013. Each of you is a winner – a winner for inclusion and innovation, a winner for building stronger knowledge societies. We need precisely these kinds of initiatives, to harness the power of new information and communication technologies for more sustainable and just development. UNESCO’s position is clear – we must move forward together, by giving everyone an unhindered voice through new technologies and media, by respecting cultural and linguistic diversity, by promoting the rights, dignity and capacities of every woman and man.”

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, UN Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization

“Congratulations to this year’s winners and participants of the European Youth Award. What connects all of you is your talent for independent thinking and the capacity to embrace projects that require creativity. The impact of the web and digital technology on our lives and businesses is of ever growing significance. There is no better age-group than the young generation to develop solutions in a playful manner in this working field. The EYA is an important initiative to bring them together: young, inspiring developers and tasks that directly confront them with future developments. I am convinced that the inspiration and the solutions which are created here will help take another step towards achieving the MDGs.”

Reinhold Mitterlehner, Federal Minister of Economy, Family and Youth, Austria

“The finalists of this year’s European Youth Award are young, bright and full of creativity. They represent Europe’s potential and are seizing the opportunities generated by the Internet. They have come up with innovative ICT ideas which could improve many lives. In this period of economic and social challenges, I am pleased to note that together, these young people are looking for creative solutions. I would congratulate like the applicants who have competed in this competition You are a huge source of hope for the future, and with  your help we will be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.”

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission

“The Millennium Development Goals were launched in 2000 in order to promote action against poverty. In 2013 they continue to provide important benchmarks while the International Community is already working on a post-2015 development agenda. A large number of young people can be found among those willing and eager to change our world for the better. I took great interest in learning about the innovative and creative projects submitted by the participants of the European Youth Award. It is the dedication of our youth, as demonstrated by all the bright minds taking part in the EYA, which gives us renewed hope for a brighter future.”

Michael Spindelegger, Vice Chancellor, Federal Minister for European and International Affairs, Austria

“The European Youth Award honours outstanding projects of young people using internet and mobile technology to put UN MDGs in action and thus demonstrate how the cooperation of digital technologies and young women´s and men´s ambitions can change society. Therefore, it brings together young developers and digital entrepreneurs from all over Europe, fostering UNESCO’s ambition to stimulate content development and access to inclusive knowledge societies. As the President of the Austrian Commission for UNESCO, I am pleased, that once again the European Youth Award Festival takes place in Graz and like to congratulate the winners and all participants for their innovative and creative contributions.”

Eva Nowotny, President of the Austrian Commission for UNESCO