Today, there are 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world.
It is the largest cohort in human history.
Meeting their needs will be a big challenge. But it's also a big opportunity.
They hold our shared future in their hands.
Every day, we read about young people lending their ideas and passions to fighting for change,
social change, political change, change in their communities.
Imagine what they'll create: breakthroughs, inventions.
Maybe new medicines, new modes of transportation, new ways to communicate, sustainable economies and maybe even a world at peace.
But this opportunity, this youth dividend, is not a given.
One point eight billion young women and young men are standing at the door of adulthood.
Are they ready? Right now, too few of them are.
My favorite part of my job at UNICEF is a chance to talk to, meet with and hear from young people all around the world.
And they tell me about their hopes and dreams.
And they have amazing hopes and dreams for what they'll accomplish in their lives.
But what they're also telling me is that they have fears.