Delegates: Ms. Petra Bezděková (23 years), Ms. Zuzana Vuova
26. Ms. Bezdekova (Czechia), speaking as a youth delegate, said that young people were severely underrepresented in democratic systems and were starting to question democracy because their voices could not be heard. Moreover, children and young people were liable to get lost in the mass of freely available information and be vulnerable to propaganda from extremist and terrorist groups. In response, it was vital to promote quality education, which fostered critical thinking and other valuable skills. Children and young people should also be encouraged to participate in decision-making within the school environment. [*6*]
27. A university degree was no longer enough to secure a job for young people and could even saddle them with financial burdens. The availability of training opportunities and internships was therefore crucial for the enhancement of youth employability and decent work. Indeed, easier access for young people to the labour market would benefit society at large. Despite efforts made in recent years, the unemployment rate among young people remained alarmingly high. She therefore advocated enhancing collaboration between educational institutions, future employers and relevant stakeholders. In particular, paid internships should be the norm.
28. Ms. Vuova (Czechia), speaking as a youth delegate, said that it was impossible to talk about sustainable development without including young people, who represented one half of the world’s population. She called on Member States to give young people a platform for expressing their views and participating in decision-making and to involve them further in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Youth empowerment and global prosperity were mutually reinforcing, and it was important to harness the potential of inclusion and diversity. She expressed the hope that one day young people would no longer be considered a vulnerable group but rather a source of inspiration and innovation.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/71/SR.4
UN Doc.: A/C.3/71/SR.4, 5 October 2016, p. 5-6, Youth Delegate Search: https://youthdelegatesearch.org/czech-republic-2016/, doi: 10.17176/20221018-192832-0.