Dear World Leaders,

We still believe in the promise of a better world for all. Do you?

All around us, humanity is in peril. The impacts of war and conflict, humanitarian catastrophes, the mental health crisis and the climate emergency have reached unimaginable heights.

But we know that it doesn’t need to be this way. While no one nation can solve these challenges alone, it is the inability of leaders to work together in pursuit of the collective good that is putting our common future in jeopardy.

We cannot afford to lose hope — the stakes are simply too high. That is why, as young people and allies, we are rallying together as a global community to make our voices heard.

Enough is enough. We are calling on all leaders and institutions to take immediate action to make global policymaking and decision-making spaces more representative of the communities they serve. Putting more diverse perspectives around the decision-making table is the only way to ensure we don’t continue to repeat past mistakes.

Young people recognize this perhaps more than anyone else, as the generation that will live with the consequences of the decisions taken today. By championing intergenerational solidarity and finding innovative solutions even in the most challenging of circumstances, young people remind us that a better world is still possible.

Yet youth are nearly invisible in positions of power, and are becoming increasingly frustrated with being tokenized, marginalized and ignored. This needs to change.

We need more young people represented in all spheres of decision-making — within government, at the United Nations, in civil society, private sector and academia. And they must be taken seriously.

To rebuild trust and restore hope, we need to see meaningful youth engagement become the norm at all levels, backed by dedicated resourcing everywhere around the world. The Summit of the Future this September will be one important opportunity for governments to commit to finally giving young people their rightful seat at the table.

World leaders, we are watching. Don’t let us down.

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