UNAOC High Representative’s Remarks
at the 2023 PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival Ceremony
15 December 2023, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Good evening to everybody.
I welcome you all to our home, the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
We are delighted that you were able to travel all the way to New York to join us in the 15th edition of the PLURAL+ Video Festival—an initiative that we proudly implement with the International Organization of Migration (IOM). I welcome Ms. Ugochi Daniels, Deputy Director-General for Operations at IOM. I am also pleased that Mr. Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division, Department of Global Communications, is joining us today.
I want to give a big shoutout to all the awardees and everyone who has supported these outstanding young people every step of the way, whether they were their parents, teachers, or friends. You are the filmmakers of the future!
Of all UNAOC programs, PLURAL+ has a special place in my heart. I love all forms of human expression, especially those expressed through film.
Filmmaking is the extraordinary alchemy of capturing emotions, weaving stories, and, most of all, shaping perspectives.
It’s the magical realm where the power of imagination meets the art of creation.
Imagine when this creation is coming from young filmmakers as young as 12 up to 27 years old. So, it was absolutely delightful to watch the short-listed videos. Each and every one of them was moving and inspiring in different ways.
This year, we received more than 500 short film submissions from over 70 countries. Submissions that came from all around the world, as far as South Korea.
Today, we are proud to honor 24 videos from 18 different countries. The videos were created and produced by filmmakers as young as 12 years old.
These videos aren’t just great films; they’re great examples of how young people are making a difference with their creativity, passion, and positive energy. The selected videos span different genres, including animation, music videos, poetic narratives, short documentaries, and other forms of creative expression. They all amplify youth voices on diversity, social inclusion, migration, and combating xenophobia and discrimination in all its forms.
Distinguished friends and guests,
Today, we’re honoring a young filmmaker from Brazil and his take on Xenophobia and Discrimination.
Today, we’re celebrating the power of sport as a tool for diversity and inclusiveness through the eyes of a youth-led NGO in Tanzania.
Today, we are recognizing the impeccable services provided by migrants and the benefits they bring to host countries such as France.
Today, we will be inspired by the work of a group of 14 children from Belgium and read the letters of a 17-year-old from South Korea.
Today, also, we will see the moving story told by a talented media maker from Cameroon, and another from Iraq, Mexico, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
We ’re often told how much we are different and how much divides us, and it was so refreshing to see how these young media makers understood how much we have in common, and they all tell it in different and moving ways. And that’s the idea behind PLURAL+ Video Festival.
We are very proud to have provided a platform that promotes, through film, empathy, understanding, compassion, respect, and human dignity. You may or may not agree that these are human values missing in today’s world.
I will conclude here because I am sure that you are all eager to let the show begin. I’m proud of all of you. Keep up the great work.