"Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honored to be with you here at the closing ceremony of the National High School Model UN conference. And I will shortly reveal the winner of this year’s Trygve Lie Challenge.
When Trygve Lie was 15 years old, he became a member one of the youth parties in Norway. He later went on to become the first Secretary-General of the United Nations, in 1946. What this shows, is that even the biggest stars have to start somewhere. It also shows that you can make a difference by becoming involved. During his seven years as a leader for the UN, Trygve Lie built not just the buildings we are in today. He also built an organization that remains a solid foundation for peace. He did it step by step. Word by word.
Some of you may have heard about the tragic attacks at Utøya island in Norway last summer. 69 people were killed while enjoying peaceful discussions at a political summer camp. All of them were from the same youth party where Trygve Lie started his political career. Like him, they believed in democracy, diversity and inclusiveness.
After the attacks, many of them have reacted by becoming even more engaged in politics. More than ever, they feel how important is to stand up for what they believe in. They refuse to let violence win. After the attacks, the Norwegian Prime Minister quickly said that everyone should respond to them by even more democracy, more openness, more participation and more humanity. Or as one of the survivors from the camp said it;
‘If one man can produce so much hate, imagine how much love we can all show each other’.
Those are wise words.
In the months that have passed since the attacks, it has become obvious to everyone how much the youth has to contribute. Wise words have been followed by even more wise words. This is exactly how you can make a difference. This is how you can help move the world in a better direction. Step by step. Word by word.
As you know, one of the main challenges we have, is to make the world more sustainable. What does this mean? It simply means that you – and also your children after that - should be left with an as good world as the one we have today. Ideally, we should build an even better world, like Trygve Lie helped doing 60 years ago.
How can this be done? That is a big question, and we need your help to answer it. When this question comes up at the big conference on sustainable development in Brazil in June, you must help us push for change for the better. Let us know what you think.
One of the ways the young Trygve Lie made his views heard, was when he in 1920 travelled along the coast of Northern Norway by boat. This, of course, was before the age of social media. And I will of course not suggest that you travel by boat to tell people what you think ...
But use Facebook. Use Twitter. Write to newspapers and politicians. Make yourself heard.
Additionally, I will personally make sure that your excellent posters travel to Brazil. We will find a good place for them, where they can been seen by Prime Ministers and Presidents alike.
Together – they, we and you can make a change for the better. Step by step. Word by word.
I will now reveal the winners of this year’s Trygve Lie Challenge ... And the winner is;
‘Growing Green in the Future’. May the team from Carlisle High School, Pennsylvania come up to the stage.
Congratulations to the winners and everyone else that have sent us contributions!