Delegate: Mr. El-Ansary
5. Mr. El-Ansary (Australia), speaking as a youth delegate, referred to a fundamental idea that had underpinned human development for centuries: people were only caretakers of the present, and their decisions would impact future generations. Four years previously, that idea had inspired 193 States to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the most ambitious commitment to sustainable development ever made. Despite the progress made, many young people remained uncertain about their future. Over the past six months he had consulted young people all over Australia and had seen how existing systems were both supporting and failing them. Yet they had an incredible capacity to change the world and every day were leading and shaping their communities with pragmatic and creative solutions.
6. His message on behalf of young Australians was one of hope, but it was tempered by the fear that the action taken was insufficient to address the critical issues and that young people did not have any say in their future. They had drawn attention to the crippling stigmas still surrounding mental health, the lack of education and employment opportunities in regional and rural communities, disparities in health care and public infrastructure, and an unbalanced justice system. They had spoken of the rising cost of living, unemployment, the scarcity of safe housing, and an inadequate education system. He had met young migrants who felt like aliens in their own country; young people with disabilities who struggled to access public spaces and basic services; members of the community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) persons who felt isolated, alone and at times unsafe; indigenous Australians who battled racism and dispossession every day. Young people spoke of their fear of climate change, a fear that was shared by millions [*3*] across the world. Thousands of young Australians were simply asking to be included. They saw themselves as global citizens, had ideas to contribute and were ready to work together towards sustainable development. It was an unprecedented opportunity to realise the untapped potential of the largest, most diverse and most educated generation in history.
7. Decision-makers were not only the caretakers of the present, but also architects of the future. Decision-makers should be ready to work with young people and embrace young people’s ideas and solutions, including them in the conversations that shaped their lives. He hoped that children in 2030 would look back at the present as a time when the generations came together to meet their greatest challenges.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/74/SR.2