Delegate: Ms. Gumberidze
67. Ms. Gumberidze (Georgia), speaking as a youth delegate, said that the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals represented a commitment to inclusion. Greta Thunberg, the young climate activist, was on the autistic spectrum, and yet she had risen to global prominence, demonstrating the potential of persons with disabilities to make enormous contributions to humanity’s common future.
68. In Georgia, steps were being taken to mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals. One such measure was that compliance with the Goals was now a criterion for the approval of new textbooks. Many middle-income countries were mired in or recovering from violent conflict and needed not only help, but also the chance to play a role in international processes.
69. In many countries, overlapping identities increased the likelihood of social exclusion. For example, her school friend, who was blind and female, had had no choice but to study at a public boarding school for the blind in Tbilisi, far from her native Abkhazia, which did not have such schools. As Abkhazia was currently occupied by the Russian Federation, the friend’s family was not allowed to travel to visit her or to live with her, which meant that she would not be able to enrol in university upon graduation. Not only must young ethnic Georgians contend with restrictions on their movement in the occupied territories, but their right to education in their native language was being violated, and many Abkhaz young people were concerned that their language would be lost.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/74/SR.3
UN Doc.: A/C.3/74/SR.3, 2 October 2019, p. 10, Youth Delegate Search: https://youthdelegatesearch.org/georgia-2019/.