Fabiola Mercedes Estrada, 17, Maracaibo, Venezuela

December 21, 2010

Note: The following was submitted for consideration by the United Nations Security Council for “Voices of a New Generation,” an interactive event held on Dec. 21, 2010. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or the United Nations.

Good afternoon distinguished members of the United Nations Security Council. My name is Fabiola Estrada and I’m 17 years old. Today I’m here to talk to you about the reality that I see every single day at home in Venezuela. And what I see is poverty, death and much less future. I see huge amounts of money that are spent in war and weapons. But if our goal is to reach peach and international security, why don’t we invest that money buying food and shelter for the ones who really need it. I’m here to ask you to stop financing war. Instead of it, finance our future, by providing us health, education, and security. We’re trying to do our best as the next generation. But your support is the best legacy you can leave us as promoters of a peaceful world and a safe future. Please change a weapon for a smile and thank you very much for your time.

Note: You may view Fabiola's video here.

- Fabiola Mercedes Estrada, 17, Maracaibo, Venezuela