Delegate: Ms. Rodaina El-Batnigi (21 years)
46. Ms. El Batnigi (Austria), speaking as a youth delegate, said that approaches to youth policy needed to be cross-sectorial as there was no political area that did not affect young people. Education and participation were crucial for young persons’ social development; in both industrial and developing countries, education was one of the most powerful ways to break the poverty cycle.
47. Education meant empowerment, especially for girls and young women. Equitable access for all children to education was crucial in safeguarding their social and economic development as well as the development of their societies. Education was the key to unleashing the potential and talents of children and improving young people’s employment opportunities and income potential. Education thus benefited individuals and the country in which they lived. Insufficient access to education perpetuated poverty. In turn, poverty limited access to schooling as poor families often could not afford to send their children to school. Investing in education could have a catalytic effect on health, nutrition, the environment and community participation and could help achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
48. Young people must be involved in decision- making, as equal partners with other stakeholders in the political process. The core principles of participation for young people were co-decision, self- determination and self-government. Participation promoted informal learning opportunities, social inclusion and improved planning processes and decision-making. Boys and girls, including the disadvantaged, must be allowed to participate on an equal footing. All countries must work to realize youth rights worldwide and the number of youth delegates, who were experts in their fields, must also be increased.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/65/SR.2