Delegate: Velislava Alexandrova Ivanova (22 years)
91. Ms. Ivanova (Bulgaria), speaking on behalf of Bulgarian youth, recalled that Bulgaria had been devoting attention to the problems of young people since the 1980s and that its national programme for youth representatives had developed rapidly during its five years of existence. With respect to the process of elaborating national positions on global matters, she commended both the manner in which cooperation between Bulgarian institutions and the United Nations had been organized and the role played by the Bulgarian media.
92. In the context of globalization, young people were particularly interested in the two interdependent issues of education and employment. Given that youth were the vehicle for social change, economic development and innovation, it was essential to develop and implement policies and programmes that fulfilled their needs. Well aware of the enormous potential of young people, decision-makers were attuned to those needs and sought further to promote youth interests. The International Year of Youth was [*13*] one example of efforts to that end, but more must be done. At the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly entitled “We can end poverty: Millennium Development Goals 2015”, numerous speakers had recognized that know-how and capacity-building were important for growth. The transition from school to the world of work was, however, increasingly problematic for young people for three main reasons; first, the education system was not sufficiently responsive to the changing needs of the job market; secondly, it was difficult for young people to find a first job that matched their field of study and provided decent conditions of work, as well as a decent salary; and lastly, young people came up against the problem of skills development once they were established in the world of work.
93. Insofar as employment and education were the keys to sustainable growth, all States should devote attention to them. In particular, decision-makers must focus on two interdependent questions: the quality of education and the role of young people in the decision-making process. Education should enable young people to acquire the highest level of knowledge and must be tailored to the job market and the needs of the outside world, in addition to preparing young people for future changes and promoting human values. As to young people themselves, they should be involved not only in decision-making but also in implementing adopted measures. Their participation in the work of international forums should be seen as enrichment and a contribution to the realization of such global strategies as the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond and the MDGs. The participation of a Bulgarian youth delegation in the work of the General Assembly of the United Nations for the fourth consecutive year fell into that category. Offering as they did a different viewpoint and new ideas, young people could also contribute to the elaboration, implementation and assessment of national policies and action plans in the field of education and to improvement of the education system.
94. Given that today’s decisions determined the livelihoods of future generations and that social progress depended on the resources available to young people, investment in youth was vital to ensuring the future of society.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/65/SR.3