Delegate: Miss Mortensen
Disclaimer: Obvious textual errors have been corrected. The authentic version can be found under “Original Records”.
11. Speaking on agenda item 93, Miss MORTENSEN (Denmark) said she was pleased to speak in the Third Committee as a young member of the Danish delegation to present the views of her young compatriots on issues of particular interest to them. One of the chief objectives of the Danish Youth Council was to see that the idea of democracy was passed from one generation to the next. Accordingly, since its inception in 1940, it had been insisting that young people be given the possibility of influencing decisions affecting them. Politicians responsible for resolving the multitude of problems knotting the world should listen to the young people because they were the ones who would have to suffer the consequences of decisions taken today.
12. The issue of probably the greatest concern to youth all over the world was that of the protection of the environment. Scientists had clearly demonstrated the threats to the environment posed by the depletion of the ozone layer, the greenhouse effect and other forms of environmental degradation, such as deforestation and desertification. Everybody must be aware that it was a collective problem and not try to push it onto his neighbour. Those countries which tried to solve their own problems by exporting them should be condemned. The whole world was faced with the common responsibility of mankind. It was absolutely crucial, for development and for the survival of mankind, to counter the threats that weighed on the environment. Danish youth was looking forward to a big international youth gathering to be held at Bergen, Norway, in 1990, within the framework of the Brundtland report. [*5*]
13. The industrialised countries should follow the United Nations objective of contributing 1 per cent of their gross national product in development aid to the third world. At the same time, it was important to have a definition of the term “development aid”. In the view of Danish youth, development aid should not include weapon deliveries or compensation purchase agreements for the benefit of the donor’s industries. The debt crisis was one of the most serious problems facing developing countries today. The establishment of a more equitable world order should ensure a future stable development within the framework of agreements based on mutual respect and cultural understanding.
14. The North-South relation should be a true dialogue. The co-operation established in 1986 between the Nordic Governments and the Governments of the front-line States of the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference was an example of such a dialogue. That governmental co-operation had been followed by a youth declaration on cultural co-operation, which had enabled those young people to proceed to cultural exchanges within the framework of visits, seminars and conferences. The co-operation with the States members of the Conference also consisted in support for activities against apartheid in South Africa. For Danish youth, it was incomprehensible that the South African regime should continue flagrantly to violate fundamental human rights. Apartheid must be abolished. The international community should continue to put pressure – by economic sanctions inter alia – on the South African Government for the attainment of that objective. The Danish Youth Council, which maintained close relations with the South African Youth Congress, was seriously concerned by the fact that the young leaders of that organisation were always persecuted. One of them, Patrick Flusk, had just been condemned for his activities and for expressing his opinions.
15. Danish youth welcomed the progress made towards the granting of independence to Namibia and intended to co-operate with Namibian youth organisations. It launched an appeal to all countries and organizations to assist Namibia. Thousands of young people, who formed the basis for a free, democratic Namibia, needed an education. The Nordic Namibia Action organisation provided assistance in that field. Young Danes were pleased to note the important role that the United Nations played in the process towards an independent Namibia and saw in it the proof that the Organization was capable of fulfilling one of its principal functions.
16. All Member States should promote human rights. Unfortunately, human rights were every day being grossly violated in many countries of the world. Danish youth vigorously condemned those violations. It believed that freedom of expression and association was particularly important because it meant the right to exert an influence on society. In that regard and on behalf of Danish youth, she unreservedly condemned the massacre of young Chinese students perpetrated by the Chinese authorities while the students were peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression. The vigorous reactions of the international community to those events should be a lesson to all those who resorted to armed force against citizens expressing their opinions. [*6*]
17. Danish youth welcomed the fact that the General Assembly would adopt in 1989 a convention on the rights of the child. One of the fundamental objectives of the draft convention should be to ensure that children and young people could not be involved in armed conflicts and thereby run the risk of being maimed or killed. It gave rise to concern in that regard that the present wording of article 33, paragraph 2, guaranteed children less protection in armed conflicts than the existing provisions of international humanitarian law. She hoped that the General Assembly would reach a consensus on the need to raise the age limit provided for in article 38, paragraph 2, from 15 years to 18. For Danish youth, that convention was a very important step towards the protection of all children against injustice and exploitation. They hoped that all Member States would soon become parties to it.
18. Danish youth hoped that young people throughout the world would be able to meet for a free exchange of ideas on questions of concern to them. It was only through understanding that the risk of war could be eliminated, together with the need to amass weapons. In that regard, the United Nations could be a platform for the youth of the world, where it could meet and consider common problems. That might have a positive influence on international debate, for young people were often open-minded, unbiased and not affected by diplomatic considerations.
19. She hoped that more Member States would include representatives of their youth organisations in their delegations to the sessions of the General Assembly. The 1990s should be a decade of action characterised by the participation of youth in decision-making and in the implementation of the decisions.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/44/SR.19