Jakarta. The famous quote of Indonesia’s founding father Soekarno on youth's power was repeatedly heard on the first day of the Y20 Summit, which saw participation from many youth delegates from across the globe.
Opening speeches were making references to Soekarno's "give me 1,000 elders, I will undoubtedly rip Semeru from its root. Give me 10 youths and I will undoubtedly shake the world" in a bid to show how powerful youth can be as agents of change.
A fitting quote as dozens of young people of different nationalities will discuss pressing matters related to youth employment, digital transformation, sustainable and livable planet, as well as diversity and inclusion.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi was among those who referenced one of Soekarno's famous quotes. The senior recited Soekarno's saying before the youth delegates as she kicked off the Y20 Summit at the Nusantara V building in Jakarta on Monday.
According to Retno, the Y20 should promote the roles of youth as both agents of peace and change. The world is now home to 1.2 billion young people — all possess transformative capabilities that can provide immense contributions amidst global challenges.
“As future leaders, youth should take a bigger role in ensuring a peaceful, more inclusive, prosperous and sustainable future. In today's globalized and interconnected world, this can only take place by fostering dialogue, building bridges, and not building walls," Retno told the Y20 delegates.
"Bridges that are based on diversity, made through collaborations, fortified by inclusion. These are the streams that keep the river of peace running," Retno said.
As change agents, youth must think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions for the various challenges that the world is facing today.
"Youth must invest on issues that will determine the fate of tomorrow such as health, digital transformation, energy transition," Retno said.
At the gala dinner later that day, Co-Chair Y20 Indonesia 2022 Budy Sugandi also made another reference to Soekarno's speech.
"President Soekarno said ten youths would be able to shake the world. This room has more than a hundred young people, so nothing is impossible if we unite and join hand in hand with each other to make a better future," Budy said at the gala dinner.
The Y20 summit discussions will result in a Communiqué, a document of public policy recommendations which the youth delegates will present to the G20 leaders.