The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, has advised youths to be agents and citizens of change on the digital space.
Mohammed said this in her visual message to the members of the Nigeria Model United Nations Society (NigMUNS) on Wednesday in Abuja.
She spoke during the 2023 Nigerian International Secondary Schools Model United Nations (NISSMUN), with the theme,”Promoting responsible digital citizenship among young people”.
According to her, digital technologies have a truly transformative potential and the digital age has much promise for technology.
She said in spite of the numerous advantages of digital technology to the society, it had its darker sides.
”It enables instant dissemination of hate speech and disinformation to potential audience.
”You have a role to play as local citizens, before sharing content online, consider its source and credibility. By being vigilant, we can combat hate speech and misinformation.
”You are more connected and empowered than ever before. You are more aware of what is possible. At the United Nations, we believe that a bright future for everyone is possible.
”Today, I call on you to join the UN as well as the citizens, to be leaders and agents of change.
”And as we strive to build a sustainable, inclusive and resilient future, let no one be left behind, “she said.
Also, Mr Chika Nwaozuzu, Chairman, Governing Council, NigMUNS, reiterated the need for young people to be guided as they accessed the Internet.
”And I’m glad that everyone even at the highest level of the United Nations encourages responsible digital citizenship,” he said.
Similarly, Mr Thomas Ageh, a Staff member at Regent School, Abuja, commended the organisers of the event while calling for similar forum for youths in the society.
He said: ”This is a platform for the next generation and these kids have lived up to expectation.
I recommend this more for the parents, society and the Nigerian educational system.”
Meanwhile, the President of the General Assembly for NISSMUN 2023 Conference, Sofia Nwafor, said the conference was about coming together, joining minds and finding solutions to the world’s problems.
”This year’s conference has been very innovative and life changing. It enabled us to cultivate our minds collectively to profer solutions and build problem solving skills.
”I want the youth to remember that to be a citizen of the digital world comes with great power but with great power comes great responsibility.
”You must take responsibility for your actions and ensure the safety of yourself and those around you.
Similarly, Eniola Oguyinka, a Director of NISSMUN, said verbal abuse and hate speeches were having a negative impact on our society.
He urged the youth to spread the love and be kind, adding that society can make Nigeria a better place through digital space.
On her part, Ameera Sallam,Deputy Secretary-General, NISSMUN 2023, said the conference enabled youths to interact with others with common goals and vision.
She thanked the organisers for the opportunity while urging the youth to maximise what they acquired and be better dugital citizens.
Mr Oche King, Co-Secretary-General, NISSMUN, said it was crucial for the youth to manage their time properly on the digital space.
”I advise all youths to be very mindful of what we say on social media as they can make or break other people they can be a deciding factor in other people’s lifes,” he said.
Also, Mr Olisa Egwuatu, Director of the General Assembly, NISSMUN 2023, said ”in this 21st century, almost everybody has access to the Internet.
”It is ‘now left for us to decide what we want to do with the internet. We should ensure to use the internet positively to connect, research, relate and learn.”
Meanwhile, the newly-elected President for the 20th NISSMUN 2024, Kenneth Nnamani, expressed joy at being elected to serve.
He said:” I am very honoured to receive this position and I pledge to ensure all the activities for next year go very well.