13 June 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged youth worldwide to become involved in efforts to foster and strengthen world peace, saying their aspirations for the future can only come to fruition in an atmosphere that is free of violence and conflict. “Expand on your work to build peace,” Mr. Ban told young people in a message marking the beginning of the 100-day count down to the International Day of Peace on 21 September, which this year focuses on youth and development under the slogan “Peace = Future.”“Share your plans and ideas, with creativity and passion. The world’s concerns will soon be in your hands,” the Secretary-General told the younger generation.Mr. Ban said this year’s International Day of Peace coincides with the United Nations summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight internationally-agreed targets which aim to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, inadequate shelter and gender inequality by 2015.“Achieving the goals is essential for ending armed conflict and building sustainable peace. I hope the voices of young people will be heard at the summit and in the run-up to it,” Mr. Ban said.He exhorted youngsters to plan projects to help create conditions for peace for their communities, their schools and their countries. “We need your voice and commitment, and we will share your stories with the world,” the Secretary-General said.