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SA delegates lauded at youth summit

It’s the first time the One Young World Summit is being held in Africa.

One Young World. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Delegates at the One Young World Summit have been told that what has been achieved in South Africa with the dismantling of an apartheid system, which appeared unbreakable, can be replicated around the world.

The summit kicked off on Wednesday with the opening ceremony at FNB Stadium and will continue in Johannesburg until Saturday.

More than 1,000 young leaders from 190 countries have gathered to discuss global problems like unemployment, poverty and education.

It's the first time the world's biggest youth summit is being held in Africa.

Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the world is divided and plagued by bad policies and poor governance.

"We need your courage, confidence, energy and creativity."

Professor of Economics Muhammed Yunus said the youth of today are the most powerful generation in human history.

"The distance between impossible and possible is shrinking."

Musician and activist Bob Geldof delivered an urgent and grim warning, admitting his generation had failed dismally.

"There will not be another World War One or another World War Two, there will be a mass extinction event. All generations fail, but my generation failed disgracefully more than others."

He said there was no time to waste.

At the same time, Annan said young leaders must look beyond their country's borders.

"In a globalised world, we sink or swim together."

Yunus encouraged delegates to allow their imagination to blossom.

"You are the most powerful generation in the entire human history, feel that power because it's you."

Young people across the globe are able to join the conversation at the summit through the #GreatDebate, an integrated chat platform that connects social media platforms with Mxit and standard SMS services.

For more on One Young World 2013, see our special feature - click here.

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