Delegate: Ilia Dib (20 years)
12. Ms. Dib (Austria), speaking on behalf of Austrian youth under agenda item 94, said that democracy was celebrated as a great success of the twentieth century, in which context it was regrettable that the turnout at elections was so low, at least in Europe and especially among young people. It was not that youth were uninterested in politics; rather, they were ill-prepared and poorly informed, in addition to which they wished to feel that they were treated as full and equal partners. The participation of young people [*3*] in democracy should be supported in school, at home and by politicians.
13. Nearly every political issue could be linked to youth politics. On the question of racism and prejudices, for example, projects for children and young people could be initiated in schools. Austria already had such a project, called “School without racism”, which also supported youth camps where young refugees met young people from Austria.
14. Turning to the question of gender equality, she referred to the Millennium Development Goal of eliminating gender disparity in all levels of education by no later than 2015. Although that was one of the most important of the Goals, it did not go far enough. Legal equality did not automatically lead to real equality between girls and boys or between women and men; therefore, education must teach gender equality. Moreover, illiteracy affected mostly women and girls and the majority of people living in poverty were women.
15. With reference to the Millennium Declaration and the document “A World Fit for Children” adopted by the General Assembly at its twenty-seventh special session, she reminded all Governments that their goal was to create a better world for young people, who wanted to be part of the discussions and decisions that would shape the world in which they would live. Welcoming the participation of youth representatives in the discussions of the Third Committee as an important sign, she called on all Member States to ensure the increased participation of young people from all regions of the world, including developing countries, in the Committee’s activities, as their greater openmindedness would enrich the work of every national delegation and of the United Nations as a whole.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/59/SR.5