Delegate: Mr. Saulo
54. Mr. Saulo (Australia) said that he was the first Aboriginal to be appointed Youth Ambassador, which attested to the opportunities available in Australia, a country that invested in human potential and supported individual growth and community development. His generation believed that its future was defined by a sense of mutual responsibility and an inherent sense of a global community based on relationships and accountability.
55. As Youth Ambassador, he had been able to travel throughout Australia and acquire first-hand knowledge of the challenges that continued to face people with disabilities, the poor, and those struggling with the impact of drugs, alcohol and cultural degradation. His focus had been on health, education, human rights and indigenous affairs, and his journey had highlighted that education was the common thread binding those areas.
56. Fortunately, Australia’s Government and its youth shared a common vision, which was reflected in the commitments set out in the National Strategy for Young Australians. The strategy identified education as the basis for the development of the country’s future leaders and, on that basis, steps were being taken to support diverse learning styles, including formal, informal, alternative and bilingual education.
57. His country also focused on supporting education programmes throughout the world, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. In a world that was becoming increasingly interconnected through modern technology, young people should consider themselves global citizens, responsible for the welfare of their peers, because world events tended to have national repercussions.
58. Australia was considering the appointment of a national children’s commissioner to set the strategic direction for youth-based policy development and monitoring. The establishment of such a post in every country would be an important step towards ensuring that the voices of young people were heard and respected and that youth services were provided with adequate resources.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/66/SR.3