Delegate: Mr. Pedersen
73. Mr. PEDERSEN (Denmark), speaking on agenda items 84 and 88, said that young people were currently facing a very difficult situation: they were severely affected by the economic recession and the young unemployed were legion (approximately 300 million in the developing countries, where population growth was making their situation even more serious). In addition to unemployment, young people were encountering difficulties in the fields of education, housing and social problems in general which made them feel rejected by society and sometimes led them to commit acts of violence. It was clearly necessary to undertake concrete initiatives to deal with that situation.
74. His Government, for its part, had taken a number of special measures to create jobs, particularly for young people under the age of 25. By an act promulgated in 1983, local authorities and private organizations could start work on projects for young people which would otherwise not have been realized. The Minister for Education intended to offer the possibility of continuing their training to all young people who had completed primary education, to liberalize the conditions for admission to most educational establishments and to intensify information services on educational possibilities.
75. It was essential for youth to participate in decision-making at all levels. Establishing policies which prepared a for youth to inherit without taking future account of the new ideas which youth had to offer, however unacceptable they sometimes were, would risk building a society which fitted neither the needs nor the interests of young people. His Government considered that the young and their organizations must have the possibility of expressing their views both at the national and international levels. Since the twenty-fifth session of the General Assembly, a representative of the Danish Youth Council, which was a non-governmental “umbrella” organization for almost all Danish youth organizations, had participated in the Danish delegation. The establishment of effective channels of communication between the United Nations and youth and youth organizations was a pre-condition for the active participation of youth in the activities of the Organization. It would be desirable to improve existing channels of information, especially those provided by the Geneva informal meetings, in the framework of preparations for International Youth Year. In that connection, he recalled that those informal meetings reflected all tendencies alike, for which reason many Governments had supported them both politically and financially. The United Nations should approve those meetings as the main channel of communication with youth and youth organizations and lend them support so that they could successfully fulfil their tasks.
76. The activities which would take place during International Youth Year on the theme of development should promote better understanding of the problems faced by young people in the developing countries and strengthen solidarity with and among the young, especially with those struggling for independence in the framework of national liberation movements and for social justice and a more equitable international economic order.
77. To work for peace, détente and disarmament was a primary task for young people and their organizations. The nuclear arms race especially worried the young. The [*17*] prospect of seeing increasing numbers of nuclear missiles deployed in Europe induced many young Danes to take an active part in peace movements. Instead of pursuing the arms race, it would be better to work for the abolition of economic, social and human injustices which all too often gave rise to oppression and violations of human rights and were particularly harmful to the young, whether they were their victims or their instruments.
78. His Government had established a co-ordinating committee which brought together the Ministries of Labour, Social Affairs, culture and Foreign Affairs as well as the Danish Youth Council under the leadership of the Ministry of Education to prepare for the activities to be undertaken during International Youth Year. The Danish Youth Council was to serve as the national secretariat for the Year. His country had always wanted the main activities of the International Year to be undertaken at the national and local levels, believing that it was at those levels that young people could engage most actively in preparing for those activities. His Government had appointed a governmental youth committee three years previously to analyse the current situation of young people, i.e. their social situation, employment, education, housing problems and leisure activities, and to make recommendations for the formulation of policies for youth, especially during International Youth Year.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/38/SR.22