Delegate: Ms. Lydia Walter (24 years)
1. Ms. Walter (Austria), speaking as a youth delegate, said that in today’s contradictory world, what unified young people were their calls for peace, for societies grounded in equality, for inclusive economic development and for drastic action to tackle environmental degradation. Education would be key to transforming those calls into action. Past failures and current divisions hampered progress, and the walls separating societies needed to be torn down to promote openness and tolerance. Society must not exclude any group. Of particular importance was equality for women and girls. Critical, nuanced thinking about global issues must be encouraged to defuse hostility and prevent people being blinded by patriotism and propaganda.
2. It was time to rethink the global economic system. Universal access to quality education and vocational training would enable people to enter the labour market and break the cycle of poverty. Education should also foster human development, however, and should enable youths to become active citizens who knew and stood up for their rights.
3. Direct action to tackle environmental degradation and climate change must be taken for the sake of generational justice despite the costs. And young people must be involved in the process, for there could be no peace, progress or prosperity without the full and equal participation of the world’s youth.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/69/SR.3