Secretary-General Kofi Annan today praised hundreds of youth delegates gathered from around the world at United Nations Headquarters in New York to push for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aim to raise global living standards. “As leaders of the future, you are essential to our efforts to meet these simple, powerful, people-centered objectives, ranging from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education – all by the target date of 2015,” Mr. Annan told the lively gathering in the General Assembly Hall. “Even though every government endorsed the Millennium Development Goals, we are not making faster progress as we wanted. At this stage, many of the Goals will not be met, so we need to re-affirm our commitment,” he said told the three-day UN Global Youth Leadership Summit.The gathering is being attended by two delegates – a young woman and a young man – from each of the world body’s 192 Member States and marks the first time that many countries fulfill pledges to include youth views in their UN representation. The Secretary-General urged those present to use their voices to press officials to foster change. “We need to remind governments of the pledges they have made to translate the Millennium Development Goals into reality,” he said. “Your voice and your organization, activity and energy can hold leaders to those pledges that they have made.”Organized by the UN New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace, the Youth Summit is the culmination of several regional meetings focusing on the General Assembly’s pledge in September 2000 to raise the living standards of the poor worldwide by 2015.