Delegate: Ms Grekula
92. Ms. Grekula (Finland), speaking as the youth representative of Finland, said that in a world where half of the population was under 30 years of age, the role of youth in the global economy and in peace and development must be recognized.
93. Many young people in North Africa, the Middle East and, to a lesser extent, Europe were facing poverty and unemployment.
94. In 2009, there had been 81 million unemployed people between 15 and 24 years of age. Over the next 10 years, 1.3 billion young people would be seeking to enter the labour market. The majority of the world’s unemployed youth lived in countries with no social security system and so, even if they managed to find a job, they still lived in extreme poverty. Given their position in society, young people could play a crucial role in eradicating poverty.
95. Youth unemployment also gave rise to frustration and xenophobia. It also provided fertile ground for criminal activities. It was therefore crucial for children and adolescents to understand the influence of their choices in society.
96. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals was key to solving the current problems facing young people. Although the deadline was approaching, those Goals could still be achieved if Governments committed themselves fully to the task, as they had decided to do at the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals. [*12*]
97. She welcomed in that regard the creation of the Youth Employment Network which, if given the necessary support, could help address the current situation. Young people were not just seeking employment; they also wanted to be treated as equal partners for development who could help to resolve the current crises.
98. To that end, it was important for young people to participate directly in decision-making. Their participation in the General Assembly could serve as a model at the national, regional and local levels and could be expanded over time.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/65/SR.1