Delegate: Mr. Hudson
7. Mr. Hudson (Australia) said that, as the first youth representative to be included in Australia’s delegation to the General Assembly, he would focus on youth participation and representation in the United Nations and the international community, which remained less than universally accepted.
8. Persons aged 25 and under constituted 60 per cent of the global population. Their full and effective participation in society and decision-making was the most fundamental aspect of the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond. In many parts of the world, however, young people were excluded from participation in the decisions that influenced their lives, thus contributing to their alienation from society. Youth participation in policy- and decision-making was also important because it could lead to fresh approaches and [*3*] new workable solutions to youth problems. In such areas as health care and drug prevention, the participation of young people in designing, implementing and evaluating programmes was not only a matter of equity but added relevance for the target group.
9. The Australian Government was committed to communicating directly with young people on issues that concerned them. For that purpose, it was developing a programme entitled “Voices of Youth” and it recently created a national youth round table consisting of 50 young Australians from diverse backgrounds who met twice a year with members of Parliament to express their views. National youth media awards had been established to promote positive portrayals of young people in the media, and, in the year 2000, for the first time, a national youth week would be held to celebrate young Australians and promote their contribution to the society.
10. The participation of youth representatives in national delegations to relevant United Nations meetings provided an opportunity for youth perspectives to be considered and enabled the youth representatives to gain a better understanding of the complex political realities that shaped the United Nations agenda and its decisions. Accordingly, Australia wished to encourage other Member States to include young people in their delegations to the General Assembly.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/54/SR.5