Delegates: Ms. Ines Swaelens (22 years), Ms. Naomi N’sa
61. Ms. Swaelens (Belgium), speaking as a youth delegate, said that youth participation in decision-making had evolved from the mere consultation of young people to a benchmark for real participative policymaking. Youth had been extensively involved in designing the 2030 agenda. For the sustainable development goals to become a success, however, it would be of paramount importance to keep youth on board. She therefore called on Governments, the United Nations and civil society to unleash the potential of youth and give more attention to youth participation, especially at the local, community level, [*9*] where it represented development not only of young people but of society in general.
62. Ms. N’sa (Belgium), speaking as a youth delegate, said that, in many countries, including hers, the quality of education that young people could obtain still depended on their social background, while in conflict zones, young people had no access to any education, in clear violation of their human rights. For youth to participate effectively in society as a force for peace and development, as described in Security Council resolution 2250 (2015), they must be equipped with quality education based on knowledge, professional training and personal development and the principles of solidarity and peaceful coexistence. She urged Member States to invest in that quality education and in equal access to it, so that, together with effective youth participation, by 2030 they might cease to be goals on the development agenda and become realities instead and young people might have a stronger, safer and more egalitarian society in which to play their part.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/71/SR.3
UN Doc.: A/C.3/71/SR.3, 5 October 2016, p. 8-9, Youth Delegate Search: https://youthdelegatesearch.org/belgium-2016/, doi: 10.17176/20221018-192916-0.