Delegate: Ms. Anna Katharina Holzhacker (20 years)
48. Ms. Holzhacker (Austria), speaking as a youth delegate, said that, in the light of recent democratic decisions, such as the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Brexit) and the elections in the United States of America, which had clearly demonstrated the impact that the votes and voices of young people, or the lack thereof, could have at both the national and international levels, it was essential to build the confidence of young people in political processes and their understanding thereof. Young people were still too often marginalized in formal voting and decision-making processes, often having no say in decisions drastically affecting them, not because they were restrained or hesitant with regard to politics, but as a direct result of their depiction as passive and in need of help, rather than as participants in such processes. Intergenerational dialogue was a fundamental component of the creation of sustainable democratic systems and equality between generations. In that regard, young people also needed to be more involved in decision-making, as policies drafted without insight into the needs of the younger generations were not sustainable.
49. Without knowledge, however, young people could not take action, and civic and political education were therefore essential for peaceful societies, especially given that populism was spreading fast [*8*] around the world. Young people must seize their chances to participate in political procedures, as participation would enable them to choose the decision makers that best represented them or to become the decision makers themselves. Furthermore, cooperation among young people across the globe was of the utmost importance.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/72/SR.1