Delegate: Samah Hadid (22 years)
43. Ms. Hadid (Australia), speaking as a youth delegate, said that, through her five-month listening tour of Australia’s indigenous lands and her participation in its youth-driven Make Poverty History Road Trip, she had dedicated her voice to the plight of indigenous youth, who were the world’s most vulnerable young people. Australia’s indigenous people lived in poverty, with limited access to education and health care. They were therefore at higher risk for infant mortality, criminal behaviour and other problems than the general population. She, like many others of her generation, was proud that, in 2008, the Australian Government had formally apologized to the Stolen Generation. The Australian Government had also endorsed the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and had committed resources to closing gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. Young Australians were united in the belief that these gaps could be closed in their lifetimes. They played a strong role in civil society and were actively involved in promoting human rights nationally and internationally.
44. As a member of Australia’s Arab Muslim minority, she was all too well aware of racism and intolerance, but she also knew her country’s capacity to value diversity and multiculturalism. Many children grew up without the opportunity that she had enjoyed to feel connected to their communities and hopeful for the future. Their plight would not change without the meaningful participation and voice of young people at the international level. It would be a start if all of the Member States of the United Nations could embrace its youth delegate programme. When the children of her generation looked back, she hoped that they would recall a time when the global community stepped up to [*7*] its challenges and reclaimed the promise of the United Nations.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/65/SR.2