Delegates: Ms. Köberle, Mr. Mack
60. Ms. Köberle (Germany), speaking as a youth representative of Germany, said that in 2007 two events had marked the minds of young people in her country and throughout the world, namely the holding of the G-8 Summit and the attainment of the midpoint for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Throughout the year, young people had organized their own alternative summit meetings to raise their concerns about equality, the eradication of poverty and basic education for everyone. They believed that States had to seek multilateral responses to those challenges and to do so within the framework of the United Nations system. Young people could not accept that success in secondary school and at university should depend on social or family background; they demanded equal opportunities for all, and especially for disabled young people, migrants and minorities. The Roma, for example, continued to be the minority most subject to discrimination in Europe. Young people would be able to make better use of their potential, secure decent employment and overcome poverty if there was greater investment in both formal and non-formal education.
61. Mr. Mack (Germany), speaking as a youth representative of Germany, said that young people also wanted equal opportunities to benefit from globalization. International youth exchange was a prime means of combating racism and building peace, but visa restrictions prevented all but a few from crossing borders legally. The young were the world’s greatest resource, but they needed to be empowered. They and their organizations were often one step ahead of politics and should be given a chance to participate in political life. The inclusion of youth delegates in the deliberations of the General Assembly should set an example for youth participation at local, regional and national levels.
62. He urged Member States to increase their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and also to ratify and implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child. He appealed for a strong commitment to the United Nations Habitat Youth Fund and encouraged Governments to support the non-formal education work of youth-led organizations. Lastly, he called on delegates to adopt the supplement to the World Programme of Action for Youth, as recommended by the Economic and Social Council (A/C.3/62/L.4).
UN Doc.: A/C.3/62/SR.3