Delegate: Ms. Cecilia Pellosniemi (24 years)
57. Ms. Pellosniemi (Finland), speaking as a youth delegate, said that young people were often victims of armed conflict and were vulnerable to enforced recruitment by military, insurgent and terrorist groups. Many could not attend school or were isolated from their communities.
58. Massive youth unemployment, the social media revolution and the youth-led uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East had led to young people being seen as a threat, a perception which could prove [*9*] justified, since almost half of the world’s population was under age 24, millions of those young people lived on less then $2 per day, and only 300 million of the 1.3 billion entering the labour market in the following decade were expected to find a job. Moreover, 10 percent of young people were not in education, employment or training, and risked turning to violence to express their frustrations, possibly leading to global unrest. To prevent that, young people’s energy should be redirected, and conflict and post-conflict societies in particular should capitalize on their creative potential.
59. The Secretary-General had responded to young people’s calls to be included in United Nations decision-making with high-level youth meetings in 2011 and 2012. Moreover, in January 2012 he had announced the establishment of the post of a Special Adviser for Youth, a system-wide action plan and a youth initiative under the umbrella of the United Nations Volunteers.
60. A global coalition had been formed to promote a Security Council resolution on youth, peace and security. Binding documentation regarding young people in armed conflict was needed to ensure the appointment of youth protection officers for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, the inclusion of young people as experts when the United Nations Department of Political Affairs Mediation Support Unit addressed peace processes, and mediation training for young people, particularly girls and women, as stipulated in Finland’s National Action Plan for Mediation.
61. Young people should be recognized as a specific group in the United Nations system. They could not be ignored, and global and local structures needed to be changed to meet their demands. With sufficient support they could be agents of positive change.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/67/SR.2