58. Ms. LISSAU-JENSEN (Denmark), speaking as the representative of the Danish Youth Council and as a member of the Danish delegation to the United Nations, discussed questions relating to youth. Young people currently faced many problems, some of which concerned only their own countries, while others, such as unemployment, hunger, lack of cervices or the need to flee from their native land, were global in scope. A key factor, which was essential if those problems were to be solved, was participation. It was therefore gratifying to note the wave of democratization that had swept the world in recent years, However, democracy was more than demonstrations in the streets; it was also the work of building a society in which every individual had the right to freedom of expression. The importance of associations could not be overemphasized in that regard, for they provided a way for individuals and, in particular, young people, to forge an opinion and exert influence, Although individualism was gaining ground in some countries, in others, unfortunately, the right to form associations was denied. Democracy could be established on a solid foundation and could foster development only if that fundamental right was respected. Fortunately, a positive trend in that regard could be observed in many parts of the world, in particular, in Eastern Europe and Latin America. The organization to which she belonged sought to contribute to the establishment of democracy in various regions through the exchange of experience. In that connection, recent events had demonstrated the importance of the role of the United Nations in dealing with repressive regimes and as a
mediator in world conflicts.
59. The Convention on the Rights of the Child had been adopted by the General Assembly at its forty-fourth session, and it was essential for its provisions to be implemented in concrete terms. The protection of children’s rights went hand in hand with development. To young people the future looked terrifying. In particular, it was difficult to see how the countries of the third world could solve their enormous debt problem. At the global level, the need to establish a genuine “partnership in development” should be a priority theme of
the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992.
60. Young people were particularly aware of the need to save the planet Earth. They also realized that that would require changes in the way people lived. Water and energy consumption in the developed countries must be reduced. Sustainable development was contingent upon help from the industrialized countries and measures to preserve the environment. She urged that non-governmental organizations, particularly youth organizations, should attend the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.
61. She noted with regret that, although resolutions on youth were adopted year after year by the General Assembly, only a few counttier included young people in their delegations to that body. It was essential that young people should take part in decision-making in international forums.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/46/SR.20