Delegate: Mr. Lasha Shakulashvili
44. Mr. Shakulashvili (Georgia), speaking as a youth delegate, said that young people in Georgia faced the same challenges as those confronted by youth throughout the world, including unemployment, unequal access to information, uneven regional development, lack of educational opportunities and respect for human rights, and barriers to social participation. Inequalities between rural and urban youth populations in Georgia were wider than ever, and there was a high demand for decent libraries, particularly in rural areas.
45. Increased participation of youth in international affairs was critical for achieving sustainable development. To that end, Georgian youth welcomed the establishment of youth advisory councils that would allow them to participate more effectively in local decision-making, as well as the expansion of political education platforms such as the Model United Nations. In a country that had experienced several waves of armed conflict, population displacement and ethnic cleansing over the past two decades and continued to suffer under the occupation of 20 per cent of its territory, the presence of international organizations and of internationally-sponsored programmes aimed at boosting youth participation and
engagement were crucial to addressing the needs of over 400,000 internally displaced persons and refugees. The Millennium Development Goals could not be achieved without the full realization of the rights of young people living under foreign occupation. Member States must take concrete steps in accordance with the World Programme of Action for outh to involve youth in actions for conflict prevention, reconciliation and peacebuilding.
46. Georgian youth agreed that no progress could be achieved without the full participation of young people with disabilities, a group that was disproportionately affected by unemployment. To that end, young Georgians could play a key role in overseeing the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of [*9*] Persons with Disabilities and its translation into national law.
47. Young Georgian women were eager to participate in combating the gender stereotypes that perpetuated discrimination and violence against them, and to contribute to efforts to mainstream a gender perspective at the national level. While a number of initiatives aimed at empowering girls were already in place, further international assistance was needed to expand those efforts and to encourage men and boys to take responsibility for their behaviour and attitudes.
48. In response to increased demand for vocational education and skills development, the national Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs had committed to build ten regional centres for vocational education in 2015. It had also launched a youth ambassador project aimed at increasing youth participation in representing Georgia at the international level. Georgian youth appreciated the role of international scholarship programmes in providing opportunities for youth exchange and empowerment.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/69/SR.4