Delegate: Mr. Povlsen
12. Mr. POVLSEN (Denmark) speaking on items 85 and 89, said that young people must be given the opportunity to take part, as equal partners, in the political process in their country, since decisions made today would influence the future of new generations. Without taking youth, their ideas and their aspirations into consideration, one ran the risk of preparing a society which would fit neither their needs nor their interests. In order to ensure their participation, Governments should – as Denmark had done – include a youth representative in their delegations to the General Assembly and to other international meetings.
13. Denmark had always wanted the main activities of the International Youth Year to be undertaken at the national and local levels, since it was only at those levels that activities could be organized not for young people but rather with and by young people. The Danish Minister of Education had therefore established a co-ordinating committee representing various other ministries as well as the Danish Youth council which comprised approximately 60 non-governmental organizations and whose mission was to co-ordinate the activities of the International Year at those two levels.
14. With regard to the channels of communication between the United Nations and youth and youth organizations, Denmark was of the view that those channels should be improved and that the informal meetings in Geneva played an important role to that end. On the application of the Danish Youth Council, his Government had [*5*] financed the participation of representatives of developing countries in those meetings, and hoped that other countries would follow its example.
15. An alarming rate of youth unemployment, added to a lack of training facilities, was causing young people material and mental distress that boded ill for the future. Disillusioned youth were likely to lose confidence in the ideals which made a society dynamic. Young people wanted a national employment policy that did not exclude them and a more equitable international distribution of wealth. The arms race, with its resulting waste of resources, and the threat that pollution posed to the ecological balance of the planet were two other sources of anxiety for the young generation. Everything must be done to ensure that young people could continue to believe in the future. The balance of terror must therefore be replaced by mutual trust, and measures must be taken to avert the threat of an ecological catastrophe.
16. The question of youth should never be dealt with in a vacuum. The search for solutions to the problems of young people should be part of the general policy of every country and every international body. Every year should be a youth year.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/39/SR.17