Delegate: Ms. Alina Böling (21 years)
72. Ms. Böling (Finland), speaking as a youth delegate, said that, since the majority of the world’s youth lived in developing countries, lack of progress regarding development and equal opportunities had a significant impact on the young. Education was a key factor in the creation of sustainable social development, and, although progress had been made in achieving the respective Millennium Development Goal, it had been uneven and adversely affected by the economic and financial crises.
73. Nevertheless, investing in education at all levels was investment in sustainable growth. That was more important than ever, because empowering young people and ensuring that they possessed appropriate skills to gain access to decent work was an important component of development. Eliminating school fees for both primary and secondary education was a way to increase access to education; but gender disparities also needed to be overcome in order to promote equality in society. Today’s education system created the society of tomorrow. Consequently human rights, gender equality and peace should be core values of education, while racism and xenophobia needed to be eliminated at all levels.
74. Non-formal education remained an integral and important part of education especially regarding the civic engagement of young people. Finland considered that a strong young civil society helped prevent marginalization and polarization among youth. Young people should be allowed to take part in the decision- making process with regard to education and educational systems. Moreover, giving young people opportunities ensured sustainable and peaceful development. Education was a right that society could not afford to deny.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/66/SR.3