Sanna Marin said that one of the most important things she’s seen holding people back is fear.
Outgoing Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SD) was on Wednesday awarded an honorary doctorate from New York University. He gave a speech in front of New York University graduates and a total of 30,000 people at Yankee Stadium – without seeing any papers.
In his speech, Marin explained what he has been asked repeatedly since he was elected the world’s youngest prime minister in 2019 at the age of 34.
– The first question is, have you always wanted to be the prime minister? Second question: how did you do it?
Marini’s answer to the first question is that he did not plan to become a politician or prime minister when he was young. The answer to the second question is that it ultimately happened because he wanted to change things and the world.
– I realized that this was also my responsibility, not someone else’s.
Marin gave the graduates three pieces of advice about change.
– Advice number one: You have the right to want things and to change things.
Tip number two: wanting is not enough. If you want to change things, you have to take control.
– And advice number three: you need to stop being afraid.
Marin said that he became passionate about politics in his twenties. The passion was not directed at the decision making system or the idea of being a politician.
– I started feeling passionate about things like climate change, biodiversity loss, human rights and minority rights, gender equality and social justice. What I saw around me and wanted to change.
Read more: Students in New York comment on Sanna Marini’s speech: “She’s a tough mummy!”
Marin said that coming from a rainbow family, she wanted to see a society where everyone could love whomever they wanted. During this, he got a lot of applause.
– I wanted to reform the law on same-sex marriage and guarantee human rights for all genders. I wanted to close the gender pay gap and I wanted to see parents, mothers and fathers, share their families more equally so that women can have the same careers as men.
Due to these issues, he joined his own party, Sdp, and ran for office in the elections.
Change cannot happen without desire.
Marin also brought up worrying events in the world and the war in Ukraine.
– The tip of the iceberg of all this worrying development is the return of war and heavy power politics to the western region – Europe. By brutally and illegally invading Ukraine, Russia has broken the rules of the international order co-created after the world wars – and in doing so defied all other rules.
However, in Marini’s opinion, the fight against climate change and the loss of biological diversity cannot wait for more stable times.
Read more: Sanna Marin awarded honorary doctorate in New York – delivers long speech, gets applause
In conclusion, he expressed faith in the graduates and said that they can bring about a change.
When I look back at my youth and my career, I realize that actually one of the most important things that holds people back is fear.
Marin said that if he was waiting for permission from others to take a stand on things, he would still be waiting for permission.
– Which is why my most important advice today isn’t really advice but an action: Stop being afraid.