Delegates: Jan Martin Munz (21 years), Christina Apel (24 years)
50. Mr. Munz (Germany), speaking as a youth representative of Germany, recalled that young people had played a major role in the reunification of Germany 16 years previously. However, many obstacles prevented young people around the world from developing their potential and contributing to their societies. Millions of young people had never enjoyed the benefits of education and lacked basic literacy skills, a situation which condemned them to a future of unemployment, poverty and marginalization. Many States were failing to address that problem.
51. Marginalized young people and their interests were barely represented in political processes, even those directly affecting them. That situation could not be allowed to continue. He called on the international community to ensure that all young people had access to education, which was the key to decent work and a life lived in dignity. Every dollar invested in education represented a better contribution to national and international peace and security than any dollar invested in weapons.
52. Ms. Apel (Germany), speaking as a youth representative of Germany, said that young people on the margins of society or with inadequate education were unable to contribute their potential to the cause of development. In 1995, the international community had adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond, but its implementation had been far from adequate. Young people’s situations varied, but their main concerns were the same the world over: fulfilment of their basic needs, access to a good education, access to decent and productive work and the opportunity to live in dignity and peace.
53. On behalf of young people everywhere, she called for better implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth and for full and effective youth participation at all levels. She also drew attention to the new priority areas of the Programme of Action for the coming year. The best way to ensure that young people’s voices were heard in the international arena was to send youth delegates from each Member State to United Nations meetings.
54. Young people called for the immediate implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. [*10*] They were ready to take on responsibilities in their societies and wanted to be given opportunities to help tackle worldwide problems.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/61/SR.3