Canadian PM urges university graduates to fight intolerance
17 May 2018, 00:48
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday urged New York University graduates to fight a rising tide of intolerance, nationalism and identity politics around the world.
"As you go forward from this place, I would like you to make a point to reach out to people whose beliefs and values are different from your own ... I would like you to listen to them and try to find common ground," said Trudeau in his speech at NYU's 186th Commencement Exercises at the Yankee Stadium in New York City.
He also called on the graduates to become leaders who focus not on winning an argument, but winning the broader battle for positive changes in the world.
To do that, he said, they will need to show they are willing to consider the views that are different from their own.
"The leadership we need most in the years to come is leadership that brings people together," Trudeau said. "This is the antithesis to the polarization, the aggressive nationalism, and the identity politics that have grown so common of late."
"It's harder, of course. It's always been easier to divide than to unite, but it requires true courage. Because if you want to bring around people to your way of thinking, you need to first show that you are open to theirs," he said.
Trudeau, who accepted an honorary doctor in laws degree from the NYU on the occasion, is in the United States for a three-day visit, focusing on trade and economic relationship between the two neighbors.